I am supposed to be on a novel-writing crusade this month: 1,667 words a day (that’s a total of 50,000 words this month).
But ahem…what do I end up doing instead? BAKING! It didn’t help that this month’s issue of Gourmet was terribly appealing:
This month of Gourmet breaks the gloomy, moody look of recent covers (as Eric noted on Read Cook Eat not too long ago), and I love that it has a narrative quality to it. Who put the turkey on the (wonderful antique) stove? How long has it been sitting there? Whose kitchen is this? It’s easy for magazine covers to encroach upon “foodporn,” closeup shots of food (hello, and I am guilty of porno’ing my food). Plus, something about the lighting in this shot appeals to me.
Instead of writing, I opened up the magazine and read it. Who could resist? Who knew it was just one step in the road to temptation? I ran all the recipes through my head, tasting the imagined results. I had to write, I had to write my novel. But as I kept thumbing through the pages, I kept wanting to BAKE. And there it was: a simple recipe for pumpkin muffins, in the “You Asked For It” section.
I haven’t made muffins in years–and how ironic, considering that this blog is called “Muffin Top.” To top it off, there is not a single muffin recipe in our “Muffin Top” blog! Time to kill 2 birds with one stone: satiate my baking desire (and writing procrastination), and supply Muffin Top with its first muffin recipe.
Pumpkin muffins fit the Autumn/Halloween/Thanksgiving season–it’s the time of year when there never seems to be enough pumpkin-based recipes, just as summer screams for recipes filled with peaches and plums, and fruit preserves. The warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves combating the cool chill of Autumn and Winter feel like a culinary cozy sweater. Plus what can you say? The orange-y pumpkin color coordinates so well with Fall leaves!
Though I made these muffins on a Friday afternoon, I can’t help but think how much more delicious they might be on a chilly Autumn morning. It took less than an hour to fill the house with a wonderful spicy pumpkin scent, and produce warm, delicious muffins. Can you imagine waking up to something so delightful? If the first taste of your day is one of these pumpkin muffins, how can you have a bad day at all?
This recipe is super easy. I had most of the items already in my pantry, except for the can of solid-pack pumpkin–which at this time of year, is a pantry staple. The recipe produces a dozen muffins, or one muffin tin full of muffin tops. The only adjustment I made was putting an entire 15-oz. can into the recipe (this was by accident but as you see, the muffins came out just perfect anyway–very moist).
Recipe follows after the jump…
RECIPE FOR PUMPKIN MUFFINS
From Gourmet November 2006
Adapted from the American Club
Makes 1 dozen
Active time: 15 min.
Start to finish: 1 hour
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpking (from a 15-oz can) (I accidentally put the entire 15 oz. can in, with no ill effects at all)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice (a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice)
1.25 cups plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Equipment: 12 foil or paper muffin liners; a muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups
Put oven rack in middle positiona nd preheat oven toe 350F. Put liners in muffin cups.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, 1.25 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.
Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.
Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about 3/4 full), then spinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a wodden pick or skewer inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.