Pumpkin Muffins

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.Pumpkin-spice-Muffins-300x225

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

Directions:

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:

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