Return of the Pumpkin Muffin

I really love pumpkin.  Its sweet earthiness tastes like autumn and it’s loaded with vitamins.  I’ve already done a pumpkin muffin recipe here before, but I have a new one that I think is even better.  It’s not too sweet and really plays up the pumpkin flavor.  These muffins are also super moist, dense, and perfect with hot coffee.

This recipe makes about 2 dozen large muffins or 3 dozen regular muffins, so there will be plenty to share.

You need to use the muffin method for this, so gather these dry ingredients and whisk them together in a large bowl:

3 1/3 cups flour

2tsp. baking soda

1 cup white sugar

1 1/2tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2tsp. cinnamon

1/4tsp. ground ginger

Make a well in these dry ingredients to put the wet ingredients in once they’re mixed.  The wet ingredients should be beaten together until smooth and are:

1 cup melted butter

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup packed brown sugar

1tbsp. blackstrap molasses

2/3 cup evaporated or whole milk

2 cups pumpkin (canned or home pureed)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and either grease or paper line your muffin cups.  Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredient well and gently fold together just until completely moistened.  Don’t use a mixer for this or mix by hand too long or your deliciously dense muffins will turn into tough little pumpkin rocks.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full for larger muffins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Ta-da!  Super yummy, not-too-sweet pumpkin muffins.

I suppose you could frost these muffins (though I think that turns it into a cupcake) or put a crumble topping on them (thereby greatly increasing the sweetness and hiding the lovely cracks that form on these muffins), but I’ll leave that up to you.

A perfect pumpkin muffin

A perfect pumpkin muffin

 

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Do you still have a can of pumpkin lurking in your pantry left over from Thanksgiving?  That’s really the great thing about canned food, isn’t it?  Well, I’ve got a great way for you to use it…pumpkin muffins with a healthier twist.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup buttermilk (or make your own from regular or Cholov Yisroel milk)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 large egg
2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional, hazelnuts pictured)

Preheat oven to 375°.Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves well with a whisk in a medium bowl. Combine granulated sugar and remaining wet ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer until relatively smooth.  Add dry mixture to wet ingredients; beat at low speed just until combined.  Gently fold in dried cranberries. Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin pan (you can spray cups and pan with cooking spray if you like).  Spoon batter into cups and top with chopped nuts if desired.  Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.  Remove muffins from pan immediately and let cool on a wire rack.  Muffins will be dense but moist and make a great breakfast or snack.  (Note: You may fill cups more to make 9 larger muffins [what is pictured here].)

Pumpkin Pie Pain Perdu

I love anything pumpkin, and it’s got lots of vitamins in it too.  There isn’t too much sugar in this recipe since it relies mainly on spices.  If you’ve got leftover challah, this is perfect.

3/4 loaf of challah, chopped into 1″ cubes (or about 6 cups of another bread cubed)

1 small can of pure pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling)

2 cups whole milk

1tsp. vanilla extract

1tsp. cinnamon

1/2tsp. ground nutmeg

6 eggs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

A pinch each of ground allspice and ground cloves

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Place the bread cubes in a lightly greased casserole dish.  In a medium bowl, whisk together vigorously the milk and eggs.  Once these have combined, add the pumpkin and again whisk vigorously as you add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.  Everything should be well-blended and look like creamy pumpkin pie filling.  Carefully pour this over all of the bread cubes, making a special effort to get in all of the nooks and crannies.  You might have to do one round, wait for that to soak in, and then pour over the rest.  Place this in the oven to bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve with warm maple syrup and hot coffee (or white hot chocolate, I love white chocolate and pumpkin together).  Enjoy!

So yummy!

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