Do you ever find yourself standing in the middle of the kitchen wondering why everything is so hard for you? Yes? Good, me too. I really love cooking, I do, but holy hell I am a mess at it. I’m impatient, always in a hurry, and totally careless. I read things too fast and get distracted. Cooking is just never a pretty process for me. Thankfully, I am good at cleaning. Still not good with using a DSLR, so please forgive me.
This weekend I decided I would make pumpkin muffins because I had a can of pumpkin in my pantry and nothing else to do. In 2008, I spent about a month addicted to Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf. It was soooo amazing and so expensive. Once I realized that I blew most of my grocery budget on bread, I decided that I needed to learn to make my own pumpkin loaf. So after trying endless recipes and variations, this one is my favorite. I choose to make them in muffin form because they are much more portable. You should make them because they are filled with sugar and butter and cinnamon. The Holy Trinity of goodness.
You will need the following blurry items:
Non-blurry varieties will work as well: softened butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, water, and pumpkin.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the softened butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Whip it real good.
Once it has been appropriately whipped to hell, turn off your mixer. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl like this:
The recipe calls for freshly grated ginger root and cinnamon, but
Stir it around so everything is nicely distributed. The next step is to start slowly adding the dry ingredients to the cream mixture while alternating with the water and pumpkin. It’s very important that after you pour your first bit of dry ingredients in that you add some water or pumpkin on top it. Or use that plastic ingredient slide thing that came with the machine. Otherwise, this happens:
Damn you dry ingredients! Now is a good time to pour yourself a moderate and sensible glass of wine.
Sip on that and pretend you aren’t a slob.
Once you’ve yelled at your dog/child/spouse for making such a massive mess, continue adding the dry ingredients with the pumpkin and water until it has been completely incorporated and is a nice pukey orange color.
Get out your old janky stained muffin pan and spray it down with Pam or butter or whatever you find in your pantry that will prevent sticking.
Actually try to get the stuff inside the well, it works much better that way. Take an ice cream scoop or spoon or measuring cup and start scooping the batter into your greased pan.
An ice cream scoop with that little piece of metal that swoops around and dislodges the batter really makes it easy. Bake the muffins for about 19 minutes. My old oven finished them at 20 and this one is right at 19, so start checking around 17 minutes with the first batch to make sure they aren’t burning. The tops should be golden brown and firm to the touch. If it gives, keep them in there a few more minutes. Alternatively, you can divide the batter into two greased loaf pans and cook for 55-60 minutes. Once finished cooking, place them on wire rack to cool.
I store mine in a Ziplock bag in the refrigerator because I think they taste better the second day. Or just go ahead and eat them once they are cool enough to not scar the inside of your mouth. And then plan on eating a bunch more because they are quite delicious.
And yes, I did eat one. Well part of one, one that left half of itself in the muffin pan when I tried to remove it. I had to make sure they were edible before I forced them upon my co-workers yesterday.
1 cup butter (softened)
3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned pumpkin
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.
3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
4. Alternate with pumpkin and water while adding to creamed mixture.
5. Beat until well combined.
6. Pour into greased muffin pan or two loaf pans.
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes for muffins and 55-60 for loaves.
8. Cool on wire rack.
10. Consume again