Adventures In Baking

(in a perpetually messy kitchen)

Posts tagged pumpkin

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Honey Pumpkin Bran Muffins

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I still had the white balance settings wrong for this entire batch of photos and it’s annoying me because these muffins were really delicious and you can’t even see their true beauty. Trust me, they looked lovely.

I found these in the bottom depths of one of my Pinterest boards. Sometimes I just load the whole thing and scroll down that seemingly endless page to the bottom just to see what I’ve pinned and forgotten about. There are gems hiding in there and this recipe proves it.

I think part of the light texture of these muffins comes from the fact that the mixing is all done by whisk. Bran and pumpkin aren’t the lightest of ingredients, but these muffins were anything but heavy, so it has to be mixing method. And the whole thing was a one-bowl recipe, perfect for a busy weeknight.

I started by whisking together butter (only 1/4 cup), honey, and brown sugar (I used coconut palm, and put in slightly less than the 1/2 cup suggested).

honey sugar butter

I added the egg, whisked that in, then put in the pumpkin.

added pumpkin

Next was the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. I was a little concerned that the recipe didn’t call for salt, but I trusted it. (Good choice.)

with spices

It all whisked together very nicely.

whisked

In went the wheat bran.

wheat bran

I added the flour (whole wheat white) and milk, and whisked. I was sure I’d have to get out the spatula, but I soon saw there was no need for it.

batter, whisked

Of course I did have to shake out the whisk a couple of times, and then once I was done, I somehow knocked it out of the bowl and onto the floor. Little bits of batter scattered.

whisk on floor with batter bits

I cleaned it up, as it was a pretty minor spill in my world, and got back into gear. I scooped the batter into muffin cups, piling it high. I sprinkled a little turbinado sugar on top.

batter in cups

These muffins get baked at a pretty low temperature, so they took over 25 minutes to bake all the way through. They smelled wonderful when they came out of the oven, warm and spicy. I let them sit in the pan for 5 more minutes.

muffins in tin, baked

I let them finish cooling on the rack.

muffins on rack

muffins on rack

When they were still warm, they stuck to the papers a bit, but not much, and by morning, they didn’t stick at all. And they were delightful. Light and fluffy, rich in flavor, warmed by the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The sugar on top was a good idea, gave them a tiny little extra bite of sweetness.

(And for the Weight Watchers crowd, they come in at 4 P+.)

HONEY PUMPKIN BRAN MUFFINS RECIPE (original)

My version of Honey Pumpkin Bran Muffins, adapted from Sugar Plum Blog)

(serves 12)

ingredients:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (scant) packed brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 heaping teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
3/4 cup 1% milk
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (about 2 teaspoons)

directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and line or spray a muffin pan. You’ll reduce the oven temperature when the muffins go in.

In a large bowl — the only bowl you’ll need — whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and honey until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the egg, pumpkin, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and spices until well mixed. Finally, stir in the bra, flour, and milk until just combined.

Scoop the batter into 12 muffin cups, and sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until they look puffy and brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack.

These lasted a good 3 days for me in an airtight container. They are perfect breakfast muffins! Enjoy.

Filed under honey pumpkin bran muffins muffins bran honey pumpkin healthy low fat breakfast snack

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Maple Pumpkin Mini Muffins

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These have been on my to-try list for months. I’m so glad I finally made them! They taste far too delicious to be as healthy as they are, too. And the timing is good, I’m back on Weight Watchers and these puppies are only ONE P+ each. And they are treats you can have for breakfast. Win-win.

Also, as a nice bonus, the recipe comes from a blog called Adventures of the Yankee Kitchen Ninja. The author says, and I quote from her blog,

I went through a bit of experimenting with this muffin recipe to find the perfect balance of taste, texture and nutrition.

She definitely found it. These remind me of the Carrot Spice Muffins and the Carrot Bran Muffins I like to make, you feel like you’re eating dessert while you’re gobbling down something that’s actually good for you.

I started with whole wheat pastry flour, which I love using. It makes everything lighter. To that I added 2 1/2 tablespoons flax seed (she said between 2-3, I took her literally), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice (a very generous 2 teaspoons). I whisked.

dry ingredients gathered

dry ingredients whisked

Yellow bowl was set aside, orange bowl was procured. I whisked three eggs in it.

whisked eggs

To that I added pumpkin, brown sugar, half a cup of maple syrup, vanilla, applesauce (I had precisely the quarter cup I needed left in the jar), and low fat Greek yogurt. I didn’t have non-fat, but I figured that wouldn’t make much of a difference taste or nutrition-wise. It all looked pretty revolting at first.

gross liquid ingredients

Once mixed, it looked a lot less freaky. I poured it into a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.

pouring mixtures together

I folded it all together, just until incorporated. There was a lot of batter in that bowl.

batter in bowl

I finally got to use my mini muffin cups! I was happy about that. Cleaning out a mini muffin tin is not a whole lot of fun, plus I got these for my birthday and have been wanting to try them out.

batter in mini cups in pan

I baked for 8 minutes, checked them, and baked a little longer, it was probably somewhere in the 10-12 minute range when they were ready. I hustled them out of the pan and onto a rack so I could get the second batch into the oven.

muffins on rack

These are delicious. They really come into their own the next day, when you can taste the maple and the pumpkin together in perfect balance, and the pumpkin pie spice. Next time I’m going to add some more cinnamon and maybe a touch of something else that’s also in pumpkin pie spice, not quite sure yet. The texture is fluffy without being too airy, and my co-workers happily gobbled them up, as did I. I’m having some with my lunch right now.

MAPLE PUMPKIN MINI MUFFINS RECIPE

Filed under maple pumpkin mini muffins pumpkin mini muffins muffins healthy low fat breakfast maple syrup flax pumpkin pie spice whole wheat pastry flour

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Pumpkin Espresso Bread

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Another home run. Make this bread right now. I mean it. It couldn’t be easier and your taste buds will thank you, as will anyone else who gets a bite. I brought some of this to work with me and had someone come back for thirds. Who says you have to wait for fall to bake with pumpkin?

And the topping…to think I almost didn’t include it. How dumb that would have been. The bread is a wonder unto itself but the topping adds a bit of crunchy magic. I made a few changes to the recipe, but the credit really belongs to a beautiful blog called Pastry Affair that gave me reason #85279 to love Pinterest and the internet.

In a medium bowl, I whisked together pumpkin, milk, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, oil, and yogurt.

ingredients in orange bowl

My first change was to be rather loose with the 3/4 cup of brown sugar, I didn’t really pack it in and as I was using a 1/4 cup to measure, I didn’t fill it each of the three times I used it. I also took out half the oil, and subbed in some low fat vanilla yogurt. I tried to approximate just over 1/8 of a cup. I photographed it so I’d know how much to use the next time

yogurt

I whisked all of that together with great anticipation.

liquid ingredients mixed with sugar

Separately, I got the dry ingredients together. I used whole wheat white flour instead of all purpose, and added baking soda, espresso powder, cinnamon (generous, heaping teaspoon), nutmeg, salt, and cloves. The recipe said to use half a teaspoon of cloves, but that made me nervous. Cloves are such a strong, dominating flavor; if you’ve ever tasted something with too much of them, you remember it. I tapered that down to slightly above a quarter teaspoon, maybe a little more.

dry ingredients, not whisked yet

I whisked that together, then hemmed and hawed about the topping for a bit. Flavor won out. In one of my favorite little glass bowls, I mixed together brown sugar, espresso powder, and cinnamon. (I think it was the espresso powder that won me over.)

topping

Mmm, topping.

Then, in traditional format, I poured the liquid ingredients into the dry, and incorporated.

liquid ingredients ready

liquid ingredients pouring

batter, all mixed

I poured it into a loaf pan, and sprinkled the topping on it. Actually, it wasn’t so much a sprinkling as a layering. There was a lot of it! I didn’t end up using all of it, but it was still pretty thick.

batter in pan with topping

Recipe said to bake for 50-60 minutes. I set the timer for 40 and was done shortly thereafter.

Some of the topping fell off when I flipped it over, but not too much, and while I usually have enough patience to let my baked goods cool and settle, I knew from the smell that I wasn’t going to be able to wait very long.

pumpkin espresso bread, baked

I didn’t. I ate a big piece that night. Did I remember to take a picture of the middle, of the perfect crumb, most but fluffy? No. But I remember the taste. The espresso provided just a hint of darkness to offset the pumpkin, the topping gave it an edgy sweetness, and despite its lack of decadence I think it would make a great birthday cake. It’s just that good.

PUMPKIN ESPRESSO BREAD RECIPE (original)

My version of Pumpkin Espresso Bread (adapted from Pastry Affair)

ingredients:

3/4 (scant) cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup canola oil
1/8 - 1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup 1% milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

topping:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

directions:

Heat oven to 350 and spray or grease a loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, oil, milks, eggs, and vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, espresso powder, spices, and salt.

Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry just until properly incorporated. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.

Mix the topping together and spread evenly across the top of the loaf.

Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Try to wait until it’s cool to start eating it, if you are able.

Filed under pumpkin espresso bread pumpkin espresso bread loaf breakfast dessert

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Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

Tonight I let Juliet make the final decision about which cookies to make, since she didn’t like Nathaniel’s gargantuan chocolate birthday cake, or the pumpkin cheesecake on Thanksgiving. I showed her five different cookie photos and she chose these. Good call, Juliet!

I started with butter and sugar, substituting a less refined cane sugar for granulated.

butter and sugar

It took on the right texture, although the color was slightly different due to the sugar, and I added the pumpkin, molasses, vanilla, and egg.

molasses, egg, vanilla, pumpkin

Once mixed, the texture did look a little weird, definitely more speckly than I expected.

speckly batter

But I kept going.

Separately, I mixed the dry ingredients: flour (swapping in whole wheat white), baking soda, salt, cinnamon (heaping teaspoonfuls instead of level), ground ginger, cloves (a pinch less than suggested), plus a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice for good luck.

dry ingredients

I whisked it together, then started adding it incrementally to the batter, mixing on low speed to avoid flour poofs. It came together nicely.

batter with flour

I gave it a little more mixing with the spatula, then covered it and put it in the fridge for just over an hour.

I put Juliet to bed with a story, and then came downstairs to make the cookies. Nathaniel was eager to help out, even agreeing to postpone our viewing of the latest episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon for one day. What a kid.

We used a cookie scoop to keep the sizes reasonably uniform, then rolled the dough into balls and rolled it in Turbinado sugar, substituting for granulated again.

Nathaniel scooping dough

Nathaniel rolling dough

I love using Turbinado sugar, it makes everything sparkly.

cookie ball

tray of dough balls

By the very end of the batch, the dough was getting sticky again, so I’d suggest putting it back in the fridge in between batches to keep that from happening. At the very end, it was too sticky to work with, so I did leave a tiny bit of batter that could have been turned into something.

I found the right baking time was about 12 minutes, and I got over 50 cookies instead of the predicted three dozen. They looked great.

cookies on rack

Nathaniel was the first taste tester.

Nathaniel with cookies

They’re delicious! Great choice, Juliet! Crunchy on the outside with a lovely sweetness because of the sugar, chewy on the inside without that weird cakeyness that pumpkin cookies have, not too sweet and not too spicy, just lovely little bites bursting with flavor. I will definitely be making these at Christmas, plus you can keep the dough in the fridge for a few days and then bake when you’re ready.

They’re delicious they’re easy and fun to make, they smell great, and for those on Weight Watchers, they’re 2 P+ each. The problem is that you want to eat all 50 of them, but that’s always the problem, and a good one to have.

PUMPKIN GINGERSNAP COOKIES RECIPE

Filed under pumpkin gingersnap cookies cookies pumpkin ginger gingersnap dessert fall cookie

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Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins
Whenever I find a recipe for a 3 (WW) P+ muffin, I have to try it, I’m always trying to expand my breakfast repertoire. So this was next on the list.
My first obstacle, however, was that they’re made with my favorite flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and now TWO of my grocery stores are completely out of it. Was there a run on whole wheat pastry flour during the storm? I don’t get it. Our closest store has arrowroot flour, buckwheat flour, rye flour, almond flour, oat flour, garbanzo bean flour, corn flour, fava bean flour, but no whole wheat pastry! Very frustrating. Well I did some online research and discovered that graham flour is pretty close, so I bought that and used it.

To that I added flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice, about half to three quarters of a teaspoon more than the recipe called for. I like spice.

I whisked it all together, and set it aside.
In a separate bowl, I mixed together the pumpkin and the turbinado sugar. It seemed like an odd sugar to use in a recipe, as I tend to use turbinado more for coating or dipping, but that’s what the recipe said so that’s what I did. It blended nicely.

Then Juliet came along to help, which was fun. She hasn’t baked with me since before the storm. She likes to admire the egg before cracking it.


She cracked two of them with my close supervision, and then mixed.

I added vanilla and stirred some more, and we got a nice-looking mixture.

Then I measured out the buttermilk (1%), and alternated adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the pumpkin mixture until it was all fully incorporated.



I made the cinnamon sugar in a small bowl.

Then, per the instructions, I tried to fill up the muffin cups one third of the way.

I sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on each one, then topped them up with the rest of the batter. I had a lot of cinnamon sugar left, so I gave each one a very light sprinkle on top, right in the middle.

I baked for about 20 minutes. They came out looking good.


The verdict? I think they rely too heavily on the sugar and the spice. There’s not really enough pumpkin here, and the flavor feels a little…forced. They aren’t bad, and they were worth a try, but I won’t be adding these to the breakfast list. They’re just okay.
CINNAMON SWIRL PUMPKIN MUFFINS RECIPE
Oh, and this morning Nathaniel wanted the pancake mini muffins that I often make, but Juliet didn’t, so I had to come up with something else that made the right amount for one person. I found something I’d pinned a million years ago called Cinnamon Snails and gave it a shot. It didn’t have any measurements, just photos & descriptions, so I did the best I could. You cut the crusts of a slice or two of bread, put cream cheese on it, then roll them up the long way and cut them into sections. Then you roll each swirled “snail” in melted butter and cinnamon sugar and bake for 8 minutes. He loved them! It’s a fun Sunday morning kind of thing to whip together.

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins

Whenever I find a recipe for a 3 (WW) P+ muffin, I have to try it, I’m always trying to expand my breakfast repertoire. So this was next on the list.

My first obstacle, however, was that they’re made with my favorite flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and now TWO of my grocery stores are completely out of it. Was there a run on whole wheat pastry flour during the storm? I don’t get it. Our closest store has arrowroot flour, buckwheat flour, rye flour, almond flour, oat flour, garbanzo bean flour, corn flour, fava bean flour, but no whole wheat pastry! Very frustrating. Well I did some online research and discovered that graham flour is pretty close, so I bought that and used it.

graham flour

To that I added flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice, about half to three quarters of a teaspoon more than the recipe called for. I like spice.

spices and flour

I whisked it all together, and set it aside.

In a separate bowl, I mixed together the pumpkin and the turbinado sugar. It seemed like an odd sugar to use in a recipe, as I tend to use turbinado more for coating or dipping, but that’s what the recipe said so that’s what I did. It blended nicely.

pumpkin and sugar

Then Juliet came along to help, which was fun. She hasn’t baked with me since before the storm. She likes to admire the egg before cracking it.

Juliet with egg

Juliet with egg

She cracked two of them with my close supervision, and then mixed.

Juliet stirring

I added vanilla and stirred some more, and we got a nice-looking mixture.

Juliet with bowl

Then I measured out the buttermilk (1%), and alternated adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the pumpkin mixture until it was all fully incorporated.

buttermilk going on

Juliet with mixing

adding flour

I made the cinnamon sugar in a small bowl.

cinnamon sugar

Then, per the instructions, I tried to fill up the muffin cups one third of the way.

one third

I sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on each one, then topped them up with the rest of the batter. I had a lot of cinnamon sugar left, so I gave each one a very light sprinkle on top, right in the middle.

ready to go in

I baked for about 20 minutes. They came out looking good.

out of the oven

muffin

The verdict? I think they rely too heavily on the sugar and the spice. There’s not really enough pumpkin here, and the flavor feels a little…forced. They aren’t bad, and they were worth a try, but I won’t be adding these to the breakfast list. They’re just okay.

CINNAMON SWIRL PUMPKIN MUFFINS RECIPE

Oh, and this morning Nathaniel wanted the pancake mini muffins that I often make, but Juliet didn’t, so I had to come up with something else that made the right amount for one person. I found something I’d pinned a million years ago called Cinnamon Snails and gave it a shot. It didn’t have any measurements, just photos & descriptions, so I did the best I could. You cut the crusts of a slice or two of bread, put cream cheese on it, then roll them up the long way and cut them into sections. Then you roll each swirled “snail” in melted butter and cinnamon sugar and bake for 8 minutes. He loved them! It’s a fun Sunday morning kind of thing to whip together.

Filed under cinnamon swirl pumpkin muffins breakfast muffins pumpkin cinnamon sugar swirl