Monday, January 16, 2012

Procrastination Pumpkin Muffins

One Thousand and four things on my to do list, I think. Always so much I need to do, and so much I WANT to do. Of course, when the list gets this big, I find that I tend to drop everything... and bake something.


It's not my fault, really. The youngest one is here with me today, Martin Luther King Day, and everyone else is out of the house, doing their own thing. She's been bugging me to bake pumpkin bread since I've made banana bread a few times in the last couple of weeks and she prefers pumpkin over banana. She acts like I bake banana bread to spite her. I've caught her eating the banana bread, she likes it just fine, but she won't admit it.
Anyway, today I had big plans to get some stuff done. Instead, it's pumpkin muffins. I asked her if she preferred muffins over bread so that I get her approval first. Of course she says, "Oooh, we could put cream cheese frosting on them!" Uh, no. That makes them cupcakes. We can try to believe these muffins are somewhat nutritious for you, as long as there is no frosting, let alone, cream cheese frosting!! Or wait, that's a cheese... maybe that works as added protein? Hmm...
I decide I'm even too lazy to actually measure the stuff, challenging myself to use hardly any utensils. My eyeballs did the measuring, and I didn't mix anything gradually, no gentle folding, not of those fancy baking techniques to get them just right.


I just dumped stuff into the mixer all at once, shook the spices in, and cranked that mixer up for about 60 seconds, and spooned the contents into the muffin tins. Yes, too lazy for muffin liners too. Just sprayed the pan first. Someone else will be washing the pan, anyway, she just doesn't know it yet.


I love the color if the inside of my oven. It does make it easier to see when it's got yucky stuff on the bottom. Like when the husband bakes his pies.



I just took them out and they are smelling up my house. 

 She is drooling, and just stole one!





Can you just imagine what this smells like??


If you want to make something similar, you can try this recipe that I've adapted from the Gourmet Magazine's November 2006 issue. For you non-bakers reading this, you can wing the spices, maybe get away with less sugar, but keep the baking soda and powder, flour and salt the same or you might get something quite different than a muffin.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 15oz can of solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
*1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon 
*1/4 to 1/2 each nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar to sprinkle on top before baking

*You can use 1-2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice, if you have it, instead of these separate spices. The original calls for 1tsp of it. I say MORE.
*If you want to do what I did and add them separately: I did not use a measuring spoon, but I can guarantee that I went on the upper end of the spice measurements I wrote in here because I love the smell and taste of these spices. See above, where it says MORE.


Preheat oven to 350ยบ. I just dumped all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and gave it a whirl. You should mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl, then the rest of the ingredients in another (or your mixer bowl). Blend that and add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Stir or use mixer on low until blended. Don't over beat.
I just made 12 really mounded muffins. If you make them the "normal" way, you would use muffin liners, and fill only 1/2 way. You would probably get about 4 more muffins that way. But they would be dinky and not "Kohut Worthy". You can decide.
Bake for about 25 minutes, toothpick comes out clean, yada yada yada... Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then turn out onto cooling rack (and flip them upright right way or they will get a grid mark top). If you can't wait, just eat one. I won't tell. Just don't blame me if you burn your lips.
Another thing. I would doctor these any which way: add 1 cup nuts, bran cereal, raisins, shredded carrots, etc. Go for it. Some people like chocolate chips in their pumpkin stuff. Not me.
Lastly, cream cheese frosting would move these to ridiculous heights. If you are skinny, you need this step.
Conclusion:
She's happy. And suddenly all the other kids are home, like they have baking ESP. These will be gone in about 5 minutes. I will get none... because I am TRYING really hard to be good!