Weekend Baking: Pumpkin Muffins for the Masses

When I get a Saturday “off” from socializing or whatever else I’ve got going on, I usually spend it baking. It’s been a busy and crazy week — and busy and crazy weeks call for muffins. As my mom once said, “when in doubt, bake.”

I’d been waiting to make my first pumpkin muffins until I found something special; it needed to be something that would be a little fancier than ordinary muffins. This recipe from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody fit the bill. I made a few adjustments, as noted below, that make the recipe a little easier if you don’t have ground cloves on hand (we only had whole) or vanilla paste. I think Pumpkin Pie Spice was a good addition to these muffins, in lieu of nutmeg.

Pumpkin, White Chocolate, and Walnut Muffins (adapted version)

1 2/3 cup flour

1 cup white sugar (I think Sugar in the Raw would also work well with these muffins)

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup walnuts

3/4 cup white chocolate chips (I added a few more in the end — so sue me)
In a small bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and spices. Stir with a fork until well-blended. Meanwhile, in a large (and microwave-safe!) bowl, melt the butter and whisk until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, thoroughly mixing each one into the butter. Add pumpkin and vanilla; blend. Carefully fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Begin adding the dry ingredients to the large bowl, a little at a time. (Note: A lot of people will tell you to do the opposite, but I always put my dry ingredients in a small bowl and the wet ingredients in a big bowl. That way, as I did with these muffins, you can slowly mix in the dry ingredients and ensure things are completely mixed. )

Be careful not to overmix. With muffins, that’s very important.

Spoon the muffin batter into a well-greased muffin tin, or one lined with muffin cups. I like using muffin tins, actually. I have some pretty ones, and it makes for super-easy cleanup. Bake at 350 F for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. I put mine in for 20 minutes and checked them afterward, and they ended up needing about 23 minutes.

Fall is here!

They came out moist, springy, and delicious. I actually ended up making an extra batch for a group of guys helping Ben move, since they’re going to need their carbs. Like I said — it’s muffins for the masses this fall. Did I mention that they pair well with coffee? Well, not that anything doesn’t…

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