These taste like more than a holiday. They taste like
an entire holiday season!
- These days you can find
high-quality organic canned pumpkin in many supermarkets. It's
worth looking for. You can also substitute cooked sweet potato or
winter squash (fresh or frozen/defrosted).
- For a touch of texture, and to give more of a bitter edge
(which I love) to the muffins, chop the orange peel, rather than
grating just the zest (outer-most layer of color). The easiest way
to do this is to shave off the peel with a vegetable peeler, then
chop the shavings into small pieces with a sharp knife.
Nonstick spray for the pan
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (rounded measure)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated or chopped orange zest
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (packed measure)
1 cup mashed pumpkin (or squash or sweet potato)
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (plain soy milk will also work)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
photo courtesy of iStock
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray 8 standard-sized
muffin cups with nonstick spray.
- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, spices, granulated
sugar, and orange zest in a medium-sized bowl, and stir until well
blended. Crumble in the brown sugar, and mix with a fork and/or
your fingers until thoroughly combined.
- Measure the pumpkin (or squash or sweet potato) into a second
medium-sized bowl. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat with a
fork or a whisk until well blended.
- Slowly pour this mixture, along with the melted butter, into
the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon or a rubber spatula from the
bottom of the bowl until you have a uniform batter. Don't
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. (I find it
easiest to use two soup spoons for this: One to scoop up the batter
and the other to push it into the cup.) For smaller muffins, fill
the cups about 4/5 of the way. For larger muffins, fill them even
with the top of the pan. If you have leftover batter, spray one or
two additional muffin cups with nonstick spray, and put in as much
batter as you have.
- Bake in the center of the oven for to 20 to 25 minutes, or
until lightly browned on top, and a toothpick inserted all the way
into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then
remove each muffin from the pan, and place on a rack to cool. Wait
at least 30 minutes before serving.