This weather has been goading me into spending more time in the kitchen, especially in the name of quick breads and muffins. It all started last Saturday, when a few of us ex-doulas got together for a weekend brunch.
|so sad this photo is blurry, but the colors!|
October 09, 2010
Name of muffins: It's Fall!
occasion: brunch with the girls
Constituents: pumpkin muffins with pecanss, chocolate chips, and roasted salted pepitas
Last year I went on this weird canned pumpkin buying spree and ended up with about a dozen cans of pumpkin. A few were used for pumpkin pies around Thanksgiving, but as of last weekend I still had four cans left. From last year. It was time to start using them.
I checked out Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan and found a recipe for pumpkin muffins. Perfect for a brunch, simple to make, and almost had everything on hand. The only thing I didn't have was buttermilk, and that is easy to come by. I also didn't have golden raisins, but I had decided to fire those anyway. At the store, I decided chocolate chips would be much more appropriate. Pumpkin and chocolate--delicious! And really, muffins are just an excuse to eat cupcakes for breakfast.
My camera battery died after I shot my mise, but there isn't anything unusual about the mixing of this batter or the ingredients, so I think you'll be ok. This is one of those baked goods you can pull off perfectly while still waking up, yawning in your pjs, your first cup of coffee in your hand.
Butter is creamed in the mixer, light brown (aka muscovado) and regular sugar are mixed in until light and smooth. A couple eggs are beat in one at a time, a little vanilla, and the pumpkin and buttermilk. The dry ingredients are mixed in next, the pecans and chocolate chips are folded in, and there you have it--pumpkin muffin batter.
The dry ingredients are the usual suspects of flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and classic go-alongs with pumpkin: cinnamon, grated nutmeg, ginger and allspice. These spices were a nice touch but didn't make the muffins too spicy, which to some would be considered a failing. I thought it was a good balance, but more spice, especially on the dark gray and rainy day we were having, would have been welcome.
The batter after mixing is silky and spongy, and is divided equally amongst 12 cupcake cups. I weighed about 80-85 grams of batter per cup. Dorie suggests raw sunflower seeds sprinkled on top, but I fired them too and used what I had: roasted salted pepitas. It was a great sub; the green seeds contrasted in a very fallish manner with the orange muffins and the crunch and salty bite was a welcome addition.
After about half an hour the muffins were baked and cooling on the rack. Impatient, I broke into one while it was still warm, and the flavors fell flat. This had me a little worried, but once they had cooled down and were at the brunch, all the spices and pumpkin and vanilla and molasses had come out and were playing nicely. These muffins didn't last long and were a sweet and salty satisfying treat. They pair nicely with a mimosa or four, by the way.
Note: Tuesdays With Dorie did these muffins two years ago.