Maybe I was the only one (yeah, right) that wanted to be famous when I was younger. I’m sure my reasons were deep and profound, like, I want to be popular and not be the weird one, I want to have a lot of money and a giant house and great cars.
I see famous people now and I wonder what ridiculous thought process had gotten me to want such a thing. Really? That life? I’m pretty much over it now. I still sometimes wish I could have a little more cash, so now my thoughts tend toward the thing that will make me my millions. But even that, I’m pretty much over by now based on my attempts at realism and practicality.
But if there was any one thing in my repertoire that could do it, it might be these muffins. I have never had greater praise from anything I’ve made, nor has there been any other food I could handle as well and as often and still WANT as much as these muffins. After my half-marathon, these were the only food I could eat. While I was pregnant, these came to my water law class every Tuesday and Thursday with a glass of milk. Everyday, about 4:00, these are my go to midday snack. My son will even eat these like nothing else, but then again, he consumed these during gestation by the dozens.
This batch was a sad one, though, to make. It was the last bag of frozen pumpkin from last year’s crop, and now it’s waiting time. Our buttercup plants are growing quickly, but I’m not sure they’re growing quickly enough. Hope and pray I don’t have to supplement with canned pumpkin – blech!
This may seem like a fussy recipe with a lot of things you may not have on hand. But believe me, by the time you finish eating the first batch, you make sure you always have them on hand. My only concern is whether or not you’ll be able to find the chocolate and caramel swirl chips from Tollhouse. I bought a bunch on clearance at Target and haven’t seen them there since, so best of luck on those. I also recommend the ice cream scoop with the trigger to put these in your muffin pans. Try these. You will love them. If you don’t, I will never please you.
And I guess that’s okay.
Amanda’s Favorite Pumpkin Muffins, adapted from the Joy of Cooking
(for a double batch – 24 muffins)
* works best when everything is at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350, or 375 at high altitudes
Either grease muffin tins, or line with muffin papers (way easier than greasing)
3 c. flour (recommend half whole wheat pastry and all purpose)
1/3 c. freshly ground flaxseed (buy pre-ground flaxseed or grind your own)
1/3 c. oat bran
1 T. ground cinnamon
2 t. baking soda – although reduce to 1 ¼ t. at high altitudes (where I live)
2 t. salt
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground nutmeg (I use fresh and eyeball it)
½ t. ground cloves
½ t. baking powder
2/3 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
In a large bowl, beat until creamy and light:
¾ c. (12 T.)unsalted butter
Gradually add and beat on high speed until lightened in texture and color:
1 ½ c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
* I have successfully used half the sugar and they’ve been fine
To the butter, add one at a time:
4 large eggs
Add and mix until just blended
2 c. pumpkin puree
Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 parts, beating on low speed or folding with a rubber spatula. Finally, fold in 1 bag equivalent of chocolate chips. I really like the swirled butterscotch/chocolate and the white/semi-sweet chocolate that Tollhouse makes.
Fill muffin cups. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Makes 24 muffins and they freeze superbly. Excellent breakfast on the go, with a glass of milk.