You know that expression, “A poor workman blames his tools”? My new Chicago Metallic no-stick muffin tin (medium-sized muffins at last!) that my Maternal Unit bought me at Bed, Bath & Beyond this very night is the converse of that rule. The tin makes the muffins? Something like that. And if you do go to Chicago Metallic’s website, bear in mind that even over-priced Bed, Bath & Beyond (you didn’t think those endless coupons were charity did you?) charges about half of what the list price is there.
I had some organic pumpkin leftover from an earlier “medical situation” (Mr. Mittens is much better, thanks), and you know I hate to throw away food. Plus, Autumn is upon us, calender-wise if not climate-wise, and I wanted to smell those spices.
Quick Pumpkin Spice Muffins (no dairy)
1 cup of pureed plain pumpkin
1/3 cup neutral oil (like vegetable oil — anything that doesn’t taste strong)
1 cup of the darkest brown sugar you can find
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (includes cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger, cinnamon and allspice — you can add them individually instead) plus 1/2 teaspoon more of cinnamon
Cinnamon and sugar blend for the tops
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins soaked overnight in booze like Triple Sec (also optional)
In one big bowl, blend all wet ingredients and brown sugar until smooth and well incorporated. Combine your remaining dry ingredients in a big measuring cup. Add dry to wet, careful not to over mix. Add nuts and/or raisins last. I read a lot of recipes while I was developing my own, and they were all sort of useless (to be blunt), except one tip I liked was to use a big wire whisk for the final mix, to avoid over mixing. I did that and it seemed to work well.
Fill your muffin cups about 3/4 and sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar combo. Bake 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean from the center of the center muffin.
These puppies popped right out — while they were still hot! Can’t beat that brand new, no-stick muffin pan. It means business.