Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Muffins, adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks


Happy Boxing Day (for those of you with British heritage)!   Christmas 2009 has come to a close, with wonderful memories of time with my family, wonderful food and I hope that all of you had a festive and blessed Christmas.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm needing a break from  chocolate and Christmas cookies!  I've already dug out my copy of Cooking Light's Complete Cookbook, for inspiration on meals with more vegetables and less heavy cream, that doesn't taste bland.   I doubt I'll give up some of my favorite ingredients, forever, but I need to give my cholesterol a break!

I made a few minor adaptions to her original recipe, starting with not making the cream cheese frosting.  Am I crazy? No!  I think my taste buds have changed, because I prefer a lot less frosting on my cakes-- and I'm evolving into being a bigger fan of bundt cakes and muffins. (This comes from a person who used to jockey for position for a corner slice of white birthday cake, with a rose, thank you.) Enough chit-chat--  in the style of The Pioneer Woman, let me show you how easy these are to make:

I'm pretty sure that most of you have these ingredients, right at your fingertips. Well, maybe in the pantry!  I made my own pumpkin puree, and froze them in one cup increments. Clever, eh? Actually, it was "P-Dub" who inspired me to do this, on her blog. The rest of the ingredients-- flour, butter (1/2 stick), an egg, salt, baking powder, sugar (1/2 cup) and some evaporated milk.  Of course, you need spices-- hence the name... cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.  Golden raisins are listed as "optional", but we love them.


Sift the ingredients together.  If you don't, I won't tell Ree. It's just a habit I've gotten into. Now, here's where I took a shortcut. Ree says to cut 1/2 stick of butter into the dry ingredients, with a knife or pastry cutter.  My food processor and I have enjoyed a 30-year relationship with one another.  I figured that "pulsing" the butter would work just fine. Thank you, Cuisinart, you did the job well! The butter is incorporated...

Now, for the wet ingredients-- pumpkin puree (canned is fine) one egg, vanilla and the evaporated milk, that I whisked together.

Now, you add the wet to the dry.  I only pulsed the ingredients, because you don't want to overwork muffin batter-- unless you like them glutenous and tough-- suit yourself!  See all the bits of butter?

I gently folded the golden raisins in-- about 1/2 cup, plus the ones that spilled out of the bag.  I transferred the batter to a bowl, because the food processor would have turned these into dust particles!


I used an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin pan. I used my giant muffin pan, well-greased, that yielded six muffins.  Bake at 400F for 25 minutes, Ree says...

 Snack attack!

Our house smelled so good!  The scent is hard to describe-- other than "hurry up and be ready!" Here's a trick I learned-- tip the muffins a little, while they cook, so they don't become soggy.  After 10 minutes, I put the muffins on a cooling rack.  It's time to make coffee!
NOTE TO SELF: If you muffin pan is dark, reduce the oven temperature to 375F and check the muffins 5 minutes earlier. 

Now, you can make a cream cheese frosting for this, which I've included on the recipe card (at the very bottom of this post).  I opted for a dusting of powdered sugar...

These are very, very moist!  The ginger and cinnamon ratio is perfect.  Quite honestly, these don't need frosting.  Pumpkin muffins are a year-long treat.  We loved these, and so will you.
TASTING NOTES:  I accidentally added almond extract-- like 1/4 teaspoon, before I realized I had not grabbed the vanilla extract.  With a silent prayer, I added the vanilla, too. We liked it, but that was not intentional.  I used 2% evaporated milk.  By eliminating the frosting and the 2% milk, I'm sure we shaved off a lot of calories. Oh, the rest are in the freezer, so I won't polish them off.  I'm on holiday rich food detox!

As always, you can view the recipe by scrolling to the very bottom of the post.  If you are receiving this post via email or RSS feed, you will need to JUMP to my blog to view and/or print the recipe.


My husband and I are on vacation, until January 4th. It's noon, and we're both in our lounge clothes-- that would be sweat pants, sweatshirt and slippers.  Only five more days until our wedding anniversary, which we will celebrate in San Francisco!

Good times!








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11 comments:

Velva said...

These pumpkin pie spice muffins look perfect for an anytime snack. Served up with a good cup of coffee and life is good.

Hope your holidays were wonderful.

Marguerite said...

These look absolutely divine!! And homemade pumpkin puree, such a clever idea! Thanks for sharing! I will make these as soon as I have all of the ingredients.

Cristie said...

These muffins look wonderful, like you could eat two or three without missing a beat. Delicious!

TKW said...

YUM!!! I think I'd forgo the frosting, too...especially after the holiday season!

Enjoy San Francisco with your man, and Happy Anniversary!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I'm ready to pull out my Cooking Light cookbooks as well. I'm glad that you had a nice Christmas. The pumpkin muffins look delicious!

Monica H said...

These don't need frosting but a healthy spread of plain cream cheese might not be so bad :-)

These look wonderful Debby. I love pumpkin spice anything, so I'm sure these would be good too.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Kim said...

The muffins sound delicious. Good for you on passing up the cream cheese frosting. I don't know if I could behave that well :D

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Ha! I know what you mean about taking a break from the holiday chocolate! Your muffins look wonderful. I was thinking of making a very simple, plain pound cake, myself ...

Happy New Year, Debby!

megan said...

I love the pioneer woman! I haven't made these muffins yet though. They look great - I can't wait to make some more meals from her cookbook...the few I've tried have turned out great :)

Joanne said...

i am still a total frosting addict. I don't think I will ever quite get over it. Especially cream cheese frosting, although I include much less sugar in mine than most people because I like the tartness to shine through.

These look delicious though! So moist and heavenly. What a great pick for this PW roundup. Congrats to you and your hubby on your anniversary!

cookeaze said...

I knew you were a genious!Awesome originality and happy new year..