Pumpkin is in everything during autumn when the Squashes finally ripen and cooks everywhere seize the opportunity to create fall favorites like Pumpkin Spice Muffins , my creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake and my Amazing Butternut Squash Soup that you can substitute with Pumpkin. Don't worry if you aren't the make-you-own-Pumpkin-puree-from-scratch kind of cook because you can use canned Pumpkin like most of us do. I do! Or if you are a purist and have fresh Pie Pumpkins from the farmer's market or your own garden then don't hesitate to make your own Pumpkin puree. It could only be more Amazing! This adaptable recipe can be made into perfect Muffins or Pumpkin Spice Bread by baking the recipe into loaves. Either way you make it, you will get a very moist Muffin or Bread with hints of warm Cinnamon and Nutmeg that is truly Cooking The Amazing.
Here is the recipe.
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
1 1/2 c Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1 1/2 c Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 c Whole Milk
1/2 c Sour Cream
1 15 oz. Can of Pumpkin
(Not Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix)
2 t Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Nutmeg
1/2 t Ground Ginger
1/4 t Ground Cloves
4 c All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
3/4 t Fine Grain Sea Salt
2 1/2 c Chopped Walnuts or Pecans
1. Plan ahead and allow 3 large Eggs and 2 sticks of unsalted Butter to come to room temperature. Then preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle. Line 24 large Cupcake liners into Muffin tins. I use Reynolds brand jumbo baking cups 3 1/2 inches with the foiled outside liner. Makes 22-24 jumbo Muffins.
2. In a bowl of a KitchenAid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl and a using hand held mixer works just fine, too) cream the softened room temperature Butter with the Brown Sugar and Sugar for 4 minutes.
3. Add the 3 Eggs, Milk, Sour Cream, Pumpkin, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ground Ginger and Ground Cloves and mix for about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl often. It will look curdled.
4. Sift, over the wet ingredients, the All Purpose Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Sea Salt.
I use Fine Grain Sea Salt in 99% of my cooking because it doesn't have the odd taste of iodine and it dissolves easily unlike some Kosher Salts. And I remember hearing Miss Julia Child saying she didn't like to use Kosher Salt for that very reason. She knew better than anyone...
5. Mix for about 45 seconds and scrap down the bowl. Add the chopped Walnuts or Pecans and hand mix 20 seconds more. Scoop into large Cupcake liners filling 3/4 full or use 2 (Pam Vegetable sprayed) Bread pans if making Pumpkin Spice Bread. I use an Ice Cream scoop to make less mess and even sized Muffins. On the center rack bake Muffins at 350 degrees for 30-35 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean and allow to cool in the pan on the counter top. For Pumpkin spice Bread bake at 350 degrees on the center rack for 50-55 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Allow to cool in the Bread pan before removing.