Pumpkin Muffins

Photo by Chris AtLeeI love fall, I love the smell of the crisp air in the morning, the chilly but not freezing mornings, the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows of the leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and of course all the pumpkin flavored desserts.  It is my favorite time of year and I look forward to it, especially when the summer starts to fade but fall isn’t quite here yet.  I start thinking of all the comfort foods I’m going to make in the fall/winter.  Soups, stews, grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade bread, pumpkin pie, and of course pumpkin muffins.

When Tim and I started dating he made the most delicious pumpkin muffins for me once, they were light and fluffy and oh so sinful.  A 3/4 cup of canola oil would make anything taste pretty good.  I played with the recipe and got it so there was only a 1/4 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of apple sauce.  It’s a great substitute but…  it doesn’t make the muffins nearly as good.  Don’t get me wrong they were good but just not the muffins that I wanted.  The muffins I am giving you the recipe for today are delicious but they are not the fabulous muffins that my now husband made for me.  They are different ingredients almost entirely with the exception of the pumpkin.  I will post that recipe later, if your nice to me! ;)  These muffins are good for you and taste pretty good as well! 

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Ingredients adapted from Joy of Baking:

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (120 ml) plain yogurt

1/4 cup (120 ml) canola oil

1/4 cup (120ml) apple sauce

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (105 grams) whole wheat flour (can use all-purpose flour)

3/4 cup (55 grams) natural bran

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (140 grams) raisins or dried

Extras:

1/3 to 1/2 pkg of cream cheese

About 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, your choice of raw or roasted.

Directions:

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Place muffins cups in your muffin tin, or oil/spray your tin so that your muffins won’t stick.  Also, preheat your oven to 400°F.

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Place the Pumpkin, Eggs, Yogurt, Apple sauce, oil, and vanilla in one bowl and mix together. 

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Place all the dry ingredients (except the raisins!) in another bowl and mix till nicely combined.  The trick with muffins is you don’t want to stir them too much or they will be tough. 

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Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl.  It will look kinda like this. 

Stir one Stir two Stir three Stir 4 Stir 7 Stir 11 Add those raisins! All ready to go!

Go ahead and stir.  I like to count 10 times.  I did eleven stirs this time because I’m a little neurotic about too much dry left over.  Then add your raisins and stir about 3 times.  What your looking for is incorporated raisins without over mixing.   

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You’ll get 12 pretty even muffins out of the mix, this is what my bowl looked like after I had portioned all the muffin batter into the muffin cups.

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Now, take that package of cream cheese and open it up.  Cut 12 squares, it' takes about half the package but you could definitely make smaller squares.

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Press one of those lovely squares just lightly down into the muffin, just so it’s not sitting on top but surrounded by muffiny goodness. 

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Go ahead and sprinkle on some of those pumpkin seeds now.  Whatever looks good to you.  Once you have put the seeds on place them in the oven for anywhere from 18 – 20 minutes.  I did mine for 18 and they came out great!

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Mmmm, muffin.  They are delicious but not so sweet that you feel bad about them.  I would have one of these for breakfast and wouldn’t feel bad at all!  Yummy don’t ya think?  If your looking for something a little more decadent you could sweeten the cream cheese with some icing sugar or you could put a crumble topping on that included the pumpkin seeds.  I have done both and they are both delicious.  If your still thinking these look too healthy for you with both of those ideas wait till next week and maybe I’ll put up the recipe for the sinful pumpkin muffins that Tim use to make me, with the full amount of oil and my own personal touch of yummy.

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What to do with the left over pumpkin…  latte anyone?!

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