The Princess went on a field trip with her class to a pumpkin farm, not too far from where we live. In addition to learning about how a farm is run and the produce and animals that are raised, they had a chance to pick their own pumpkin and gourd to take home.
I asked the Princess, “What was your favorite part of the trip?”
“The ham sandwich.” Good, that meant that she actually ate it.
So, last night I made pumpkin muffins with pumpkin icing in honor of her trip to the pumpkin farm and my brothers’ birthdays. My brother in Seattle just turned 35 yesterday, and my “soul brother” in Boston turned 36 about a week ago—both love pumpkin pie. They are known to finish off a whole pie by themselves without batting an eye. (So here’s to you—Peter and Sam!)
I used canned organic pumpkin, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing—especially as the flavors are more intense and less mess/labor is involved. (It is during the workweek after all…)
Pumpkin Muffins Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin tins or line with baking cups.
Sift/mix dry ingredients together:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or use 1/2 t of each: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger)
Mix wet ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin puree/solid pumpkin from can
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water or soymilk/milk
1 cup brown sugar
Combine dry ingredients into wet. Do not overmix. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness with toothpick—it should come out clean.
2 tbs of softened margarine/butter
2 tbs of pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (might need little more or less depending on the texture you’d like to achieve)
The flavors of the spices in the pumpkin muffin are more intense the next day, so if you can hold off the hungry horde, more power to you!
If you’re planning on making your own pumpkin purée, look for sugar pumpkin, butternut squash, or a Japanese kabocha pumpkin. Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and string (you may choose to toast the seeds separately), bake at 350 degree F for about an hour, scoop out flesh. Or, you might choose to cut up pumpkin into pieces (remove and toss out skin) and boil them until tender and then puree in food processor or mash them. Freeze whatever is not used.
Optional: add 1/2 cup roasted, chopped pumpkin seeds into batter before baking
This recipe may not make a complete dozen muffins. If that’s the case, just fill in the empty cups with water. It’ll enhance the baking.