Pumpkin Spice Muffins
1 sugar pumpkin (aka pie pumpkin)--you can also substitute one can of *real* pumpkin here
2 c all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1.5 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/8 t ground cloves
1/2 t salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
1/4 c sour cream
1/4 c applesauce
2 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
Apparently pumpkin can cook up relatively quickly in the microwave, but I tend to opt for roasting when it comes to my root vegetables. It's easy, tasty, and you don't have to worry about cleaning up messy orange explosions. Simply slice the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast cut-side down on a sheet pan at 350 until soft. Cooking times can vary depending on the moisture content of your pumpkin, but I would start checking for doneness after about half an hour. In the meantime, you can rinse your pumpkin seeds, toss them in a little salt and oil and throw them in the oven as well! Just give them a stir every few minutes until they're nice and crispy. Bonus.
Preheat oven to 400. Butter your muffin pan if it's not nonstick.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, pumpkin , sour cream, apple sauce, eggs, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a fork comes out clean. Best enjoyed while still warm along with a steaming cup of tea or cider. Yum!
Note: If you want to add a little texture, the Epicurious recipe calls for plumped golden raisins (just soak them in hot water for five minutes before adding to batter) and pumpkin seeds in the muffins, as well as some pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. A dab of cream cheese frosting would also do quite nicely...
Photo courtesy of Sultry, via Flickr creative commons