I know it would be easy to think things are all happiness and cookies around here all the time. But just between you and me, I have a hard time with this time of year, when the days being to darken an hour before I leave work, and we gear up for the long (snowy! icy! bitter cold!) winter ahead.
There are those who would say, fairly maybe, that if you declare autumn your favorite set of months, you have to take it with all its flaws, as well as its gorgeous colors and crisp breezes, caramel apples and cider doughnuts, colorful gourds and adorable pumpkins.
That you can’t be a fickle lover, using the season for what it gives you and wishing it away when the good things end.
When I walk to my car at the end of every workday in pitch-black darkness, when the weather reports threaten snow, when I eat dinner and then want nothing more than to curl up on the sofa immediately with a soft blanket, I tell myself these are the small sacrifices.
That, in exchange for dense golden forests and carved jack-o’-lanterns, I have to give up a little daylight, a little warmth. That, because fall is so wonderful, winter has to follow. It’s just the way of things.
You can’t have everything you want or you’d be terribly spoiled, right? You can’t have the beauty of fall year-round or you’d forget to appreciate it, yes?
I want to be mature about all this. I am trying, all right? I’ve been trying to find things that I actually like about these darker days – sunny mornings, for example, or the fact that I usually wake up before my alarm.
Meanwhile, I could use a hug, if not a plane ticket to someplace lovely and warm where I can wait out the next few months. Of course, I’d also settle quite happily for a bite of something delicious… Maybe something made with pumpkin, as another reminder of fall’s virtues?
On the hunt for the perfect pumpkin recipe, I baked these muffins last night.
They’re not overpoweringly sweet, with a super moist center and flecks of cinnamon and sugar on top. This might not cure my seasonal woes, but they’re a step in the right direction. A good reminder that there are plenty of things to be enjoyed.Print
Wake up to the scent of fall with an incredible batch of pumpkin muffins. With sugar and spice, these baked goodies bring a burst of flavor.
- Place oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F. Put liners in 18 cups of two 12-cup muffin pans.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, mix together pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, and 1 1/4 cups of sugar on the lowest speed.
- Add the flour mixture and continue to mix until just combined, always with machine on its lowest setting.
- Stir together the cinnamon and remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl.
- Divide batter among muffin cups, filling them 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the tops of each with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted in the middle.
- Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack and cool completely before storing.
Keywords: pumpkin, pumpkin muffins, fall, autumn, breakfast
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Ingredients and Prepare Pan
Measure all of the ingredients and place them on your counter in the order they are listed in the ingredients list. This will make it much easier to pull the recipe together.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups of one 12-cup muffin pan, and line half of the cups of another pan, for 18 total.
Step 2 – Combine Dry Ingredients
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
Whisk until combined. Set aside.
Step 3 – Make Batter
Fit an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, and 1 1/4 cups sugar to the bowl of the mixer.
Stir the wet ingredients together on the lowest setting until combined.
Add the flour mixture and continue stirring at the lowest speed, until the batter is combined.
Step 4 – Make Cinnamon Topping
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Step 5 – Bake
Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each of them about 2/3 of the way full.
Sprinkle the tops evenly with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. When you insert a toothpick in the center, it should come out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan to cool directly on the rack. Cool completely before storing the muffins.
Pumpkin Pie, In a Muffin
It’s soft and supple, with a slight added crunch of sweetness from the cinnamon sugar crust on top.
Trust me when I say that these are showstopping. You are going to feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast. In my book, that’s always a win. Wouldn’t you agree?
What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin during the fall season? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 7, 2008. Last updated: September 1, 2018 at 19:16 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.