Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Mania

Pumpkins Have Rolled In!

Fall has officially arrived and the evidence is stacked up in the Produce section at Jungle Jim's International Market. All kinds of pumpkins are available for carving and eating! If the first snap of cold weather compels you to collect and make pumpkin recipes, you are not alone. Redolent with delicious aromas of fall produce, the Cooking School is the place to be because Leigh baked a moist, dense batch of pumpkin pecan muffins. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you'll enjoy these pumpkin muffins as you kick-start your autumn baking.

The batter can be mixed in two bowls - one bowl for the dry ingredients and then one for the wet ingredients. Quick and easy clean up! We used a 1/4-cup scoop to fill the muffin tins. Each muffin is the same size, bakes evenly and looks coffee-house perfect. Don't be tempted to overfill the muffin tins - they should rise, not overflow.

Leigh opted to grease the muffin tin, but you could use paper liners. To make a crunchy topping, use baker's coarse sugar - a generous 1/2 teaspoon per muffin will result in a crackly, crunchy coating that contrasts wonderfully with the moist, dense crumb of the muffin.

Patience is a virtue! It is so hard to wait until they are cool enough to eat, but the muffins come out so much easier when they have a chance to cool. Run a knife along the edge to detach the sugar from the sides and lift them out gently.

These muffins disappeared as soon as they were cool enough to handle! 

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
cups granulated sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup chopped toasted pecans
Coarse bakers’ sugar for tops, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 12 regular-size muffin cups.

Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt in medium bowl and whisk to mix. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in pecans. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove muffins from pan and cool completely.

Makes 12

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