…Hot, Buttery Rage (and Pumpkin Muffins)
I have a confession to make: I am angry.
Let me be clear– it’s not that I’m an angry person. I just have a lot of little things in my life that are really, REALLY pissing me off right now. My boyfriend is deployed in Afghanistan, my job has been extremely trying this past month, and my car is a POS more likely to be on the blink than not. Riddle me this: How do I miss the first phone call in a month from the aforementioned boy, even though I was literally holding my phone in my hand? And a further case in point: The Focus was in the shop just yesterday, due to some gunked up thingamawhastsy that’s attached to the go-pedal. Who’s with me?
Part of the reason that I started this blog in the first place was to find something productive to do while C is deployed. Under normal circumstances he would hang out with me while I cook up something delicious. For perspective: I HATE having people in the kitchen with me while I’m cooking or baking. It messes with my floury chi, and makes me 110% more likely to do something stupid like put 1/2 cup of salt in the cookie batter. With C, though, it’s different. He keeps me company, and makes me laugh, and acts like a sous-chef, running around and getting ingredients in order. He likes to pretend that he’s learning how to cook from me, but really what he’s doing is hovering and waiting for the first bite. First he distracts me with kisses, then he tries to eat all the food. 😀 It’s been pretty lonely in my kitchen since he left, so I came up with the blog as a way to feel connected to him while he’s over in the sandbox being the bravest person I know.
When I was whipping up this recipe last week, I made my sister sit in the kitchen with me while I was cooking. I just HAD to have company that day… even Bakey McGetTheHellOutOfMyKitchen here needs some love and hugs once in a while. (Thanks G)
On the upside, we’ve been having some perfect fall weather lately. My mom and I had gone on a field trip to Concord not too long ago and gotten lots of delicious things, including two little sugar pumpkins that I hadn’t yet decided what I was going to do with. Then I woke up one morning dreaming of maple glaze, and I knew what one of the pumpkins would be when it grew up.
I have a soft spot for muffins, you see. They’re so easy– they rarely require more than two bowls, there’s no need to break out the stand mixer, and you can usually get them from “Hey Let’s Make Muffins” to in your mouth within about 45 minutes.
Now, it takes a little bit longer if you’re making your own pumpkin puree, like I did. Unless you cut the stem off your 3-4 pound sugar pumpkin, stab it a few times to let steam escape, and roast it for an hour at 350° the night before, like I did. 😉 Store it in the fridge overnight cut in half, then scrape the flesh from the rind to make your puree when you’re ready to bake. I added a bit of water to the pumpkin while blending it to smooth things over. The one pumpkin should make just the right amount of puree for this recipe.
Just as an aside, it’s never a bad idea to wash your pumpkin seeds and roast them with a little drizzle of olive oil and some salt.
One thing I noticed while researching pumpkin recipes is how many of them call for “Pumpkin Pie Spice”. I don’t know about you, but I ransacked my spice cabinet and I had no such thing. It’s moments like this when I thank God for Google… below you will find my recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice, no fancy-schmancy containers required.
If you’re having a bad morning, try one of these muffins. Or two, if you’re ravenous. They may not make all of your problems disappear, but at least you won’t be hungry while you take on the world.
Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Glaze
- 3/4 C. vegetable or olive oil
- 3 C. King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 T. Pumpkin Pie Spice (see recipe below)
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 C. pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
- 1 C. plain Greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 C. granulated sugar
- 1/2 C. brown sugar, loosely packed
Pumpkin Pie Spice (yield: approx. 1 T. spice mixture)
- 1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Allspice OR Ground Cloves
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
Stir to blend in a small bowl, use where “Pumpkin Pie Spice” is called for.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Grease or paper 2 muffin tins; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
3. In a large bowl whisk oil, pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs, and sugars to combine. Add dry ingredients in two or three batches, whisk just until moistened.
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins (fill 2/3). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack.
These muffins are delicious as is, but if you really want to knock people’s socks off wait until they have cooled and then dip them in this:
2 T. unsalted butter
1/4 C. Pure Maple Syrup
1 C. Confectioners Sugar
1/2 tsp. Maple Flavored Extract
Melt butter and syrup together over medium heat. Whisk confectioners sugar into hot mixture until smooth, beat in Maple Extract. Dip/pour over muffins, donuts, etc.; or pour over cooled cake. This glaze tastes just like maple sugar candy… I dare you not to eat it straight from the saucepan!