Tag Archives: pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I’m a bit of a paradox: For as much as I love pumpkin, I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin pie. Somewhere between the flavor and texture, I just get thrown off.

Clearly, though, that doesn’t mean that pumpkin is a lost cause in my book. Instead, I swap the pie for even more delicious treats… And I don’t even have to wait until Thanksgiving to indulge in them.

Take these muffins for instance. They are perfect for a snack, a breakfast side or — according to Dan — a bit of energy before a run.

“You should call them ‘energy muffins,'” he said.

Good call, babe. But, I think I’ll go with…

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  • Head a small pan to medium-high. Add pecans and toast, stirring regularly for 4-5 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  • In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, applesauce and yogurt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until just combined. To avoid tough muffins, do not over mix.
  • Add toasted pecans, and stir to combine.
  • Spray two muffin tins with nonstick spray or line with muffin cups. Fill each cup 2/3 way up with batter.
  • Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in the tin on a rack for about 10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin and let the muffins cool on the rack.

With two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice plus a full can of pumpkin, these are chock-full of fall flavors… And that’s very appropriate around here. I swear the leaves were green one day and gold the next!

I’ve been taking advantage by getting outside, walking to class and being active. I attribute all the energy to the weather… Dan uses it as an excuse for why the muffins disappeared so quickly.

Question: Is there a dessert that you really don’t like?

In addition to pumpkin pie, I also really don’t like crème brûlée — except in oatmeal form!

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Four ingredient perfection

The vast majority of recipes that I bookmark are for sweets. I have a very strong natural attraction to anything frosted, sugar-coated, or fudge-dipped. I diligently label, organize and set away each new recipe I stumble upon, dreaming all the while of how my new find will taste…

However, I am the victim of a great dilemma: Indulge in every sweet/treat recipe (which would, necessarily, call for a lot of taste testing) or keep my self-proclaimed title of health food junkie? Depending on the recipe at hand, this is seriously a question that has kept me up at night.

My solution is quite simple; I just take advantage of every opportunity to provide desserts for my friends.

A party? I’ll bring the cupcakes!

A hard test coming up? Here, snack on some homemade cookies!

Parents coming to town? Impress them with this pie!

So the trend continues…

Really, I believe my system of bake-and-give is best for everyone. I get to indulge my desire to test new recipes, sneak in a small sample and then give the rest away to eager and grateful college students. And, let me tell you, this is seriously a good way to make some loyal friends!

Despite a great collection of recipes patiently waiting to be tested, my most recent endeavor into baking were my tried-and-true Pumpkin Spice Muffins. For weeks, I had festered away the necessary ingredients, ready to jump on any excuse to bake. After surviving the final and burning my notes from my statistics class, I felt it was time to celebrate in a less pyromaniac way.

Without hesitation, I immediately gathered the ingredients. In no time, the muffins were ready. Fresh from the oven to the door of my fellow finals-survivors, with maybe a leftover muffin or two for me!

The best part about this recipe, even more than the spicy-sweet aroma that fills the kitchen or the delightful surprise of the cinnamon chips, is how simple it is to create. Just mix together four kitchen-staple ingredients and perfection is on a platter in no time!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins…
four ingredients, four stars.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 can pure pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup cinnamon chips

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven according to cake box directions.
  • In large bowl, stir together all ingredients.
  • Fill greased muffin tin 3/4 full with batter.
  • Bake according to box directions.
  • Done! How easy was that?

For a little explanation, I usually avoid recipes using boxed mixes. I prefer “getting my hands dirty” and baking from scratch. That way, I know exactly what is going into my creation, and I have better control over the ingredients I use. However, for the sake of this recipe, I usually concede my stigma against boxed ingredients a little.With only four ingredients– and no additional eggs, butter, cream or oil– these muffins withhold a certain degree of purity.

I’ve learned that sometimes it is alright to make life a little easier. So, grab that boxed cake mix and enjoy a little simplicity with all the benefits of taste. Back to baking from scratch next time…