Fall brings out the pumpkin-lovers and pumpkin-haters. If I had my druthers, I’d mandate canned pumpkin as a year-round grocery store item. Until then, I’m hoarding.
We had company staying with us this weekend and I wanted to keep my hands busy. Sure, it was 92 degrees with 80% humidity, but I made pumpkin muffins anyway. I mean it IS technically fall, and there’s nothing like baking bread to invoke sweetness in the kitchen. I cranked the A/C down, the oven up, and once again fell in love with my KitchenAid mixer.
This pumpkin muffin recipe is older than me, origins unknown. My mom made these throughout my childhood, so much so that my oldest friends recall them with smiles. I get requests to bring ’em to parties, and rarely encounter a newbie unmoved by their delightful flavor and texture. They’re soft and moist, easy one-bowl baked beauties.
Which brings me to what makes these extra awesome: no dairy, no eggs, no oil, no butter. Dare I call them vegan-friendly? Healthy? You decide:
20 oz. canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened is best)
1/2 cup raisins – I like golden raisins but regular work fine
1/2 cup pecans – optional I suppose, but I prefer to include ’em
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Combine the wet stuff – pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, pecans, vanilla and raisins in a bowl. Stir to combine.
3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Mix until dough is a consistent texture. It will be lumpy due to pecans and raisins, but the thickness should be even — i.e. no flour clumps.
4. Spray muffin pan or line with cups. Scoop batter into cups evenly, about 3 TBS each.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are spongy and middles firm. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
YIELD: 18 muffins. Can be doubled for a crowd or for freezing. Serve plain, or topped with almond butter or margarine.
New Pumpkin Recipes to try this month: