No. 342: Pumpkin Maple Muffins (+ Bonus Pumpkin Bread Recipe)

It's that time of year. Fall. My favorite.

The time of year when you can pull on leggings/jeans everyday with happiness and wrap up in vests. The time of year when pumpkin spice mixes abound. The time of year when you can't help but knock over a Libby's canned pumpkin display every time you turn around at the grocery store.

Not that I have done that...

So anyway, I have this incredible pumpkin bread recipe that my family has made for ages. I mixed it up a few weeks ago to the delight of our children (SUGAR!!!) and dismay of our neighbor friends who got a loaf as a gift. Let's just say they were thanking us and then cursing us after realizing how hard it is to stop eating. That recipe is below, so keep reading if that's what you're after.

But the first recipe for Pumpkin Maple Muffins is really dedicated to Halloween! We are off to a Halloween party tomorrow afternoon and the kids will get to do a dry run as Super Girl and Super Boy before the big event on Tuesday evening.

Side note: Pottery Barn, sigh, you can have all my money. Your costumes are amazing, high quality, and will serve as excellent dress up fun the rest of this winter. See you next year:)

Pumpkin Maple Muffins

But, I digress. I wanted to bring a treat to the party that was portable, shareable and all about fall. Enter these muffins from NYT Cooking.

Ingredients

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat OR 1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups pumpkin purée (about 1 15-ounce can)
3 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
⅔ cup maple syrup

To make

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin molds with nonstick spray or line them with paper liners.

Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter has melted, foamed and started to brown, about 5 minutes. Use a whisk to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk (or use a hand mixer) together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar and maple syrup until totally smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients, followed by browned butter.

Ready to go in the pan [Pardon the awkward orientation on all these photos:)]

Divide among prepared muffin tins and bake until the tops are puffed and spring back slightly when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes.

The results

Oh my goodness. Listen. These are amazing.

Finished muffins

They are also a great reminder to read the comments on any online recipe before you make it. Might as well learn from those who came before you!

That's how I knew to halve the brown sugar going in, so I only put in a 1/2 cup total. I also inadvertently only had about 1/4 cup of maple syrup left in the bottle, so that's all the maple deliciousness that went into my muffins.

All that said, they were still plenty sweet and full of fall flavor. Go ahead for the full 2/3 cup of maple syrup if you have it, I don't think it will be too much.

Also, this recipe makes 12 GINORMOUS muffins (or more like 15 regular) so plan on some overflow. I used the extra to make six mini muffins as snacks for the kids to keep them off my back about the big ones before tomorrow. A toddler mother learns....

Hope you all are doing well and that fall has you in pumpkin bliss like the McCs!

Bonus Recipe: Pumpkin Nut Bread

My amazing mom gave me this recipe in her handwriting in a special recipe book years ago.

Recipe card I just love looking at it:) Also special is that it came from our nanny, Susan Gandy, when we were itty bitty little ones in Mississippi.

Ingredients

*Makes two full loaves
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or almonds
4 eggs
15-ounce canned pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water

Optional ingredients for the topping:
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon mixed together

Note: You could do lots of alterations to this to make it healthier (swap apple sauce for oil/butter for example), but why!?!? It's so good as-is.

To make

Blend together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add other ingredients and mix until well blended.

Bake in two greased loaf pans at 350 degrees for one hour. Let cool 5 minutes. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture (if you want - totally optional).

This recipe is rich, delicious, and a crowd pleaser.

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