It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. It is a beautiful time of the year and marks the beginning of a festive season and a season to give thanks. The pumpkin puree that I shared yesterday ought to be used somewhere right? So here is a recipe that you can bake and enjoy during Thanksgiving or otherwise. Though these muffins do not fall under traditional Thanksgiving food but hey, these are made with pumpkins, have warm and earthy fall spices in them, and are “soul-sweet”, so these qualify as Thanksgiving food in my books and may be these can make an entry on your Thanksgiving menu too. Even if not, I am sure you will fall in love with this recipe once you make it anytime during pumpkin season. Better yet, I feel pumpkin should be a year round season just like chocolate. We do not need a season to enjoy Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins so we should not need one for pumpkin muffins as well.
The recipe run down is simple – prep wet and dry ingredients separately and then mix them together. The pecan crumb topping is to die for is adapted from Pioneer Woman’s crumb topping that I use to top pretty much anything that I feel like….hah! This crumb topping will taste good even on shoe laces – trust me. The muffin recipe will make 18 regular size muffins or 12 regular and 12 mini muffins. I made 12 regular sized muffins with crumb topping and two mini-loaves without the topping for Mr. little V, since he is allergic to pecans. If you want to skip the crumb topping (please do not), increase the sugar in the muffin batter from one and a half cup to two cups.
For the muffins:
All-purpose flour – 2 cups
Salt – ½ teaspoon
Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
Baking soda – 1teaspoon
Ground Cinnamon – 1teaspoon*
Ground Nutmeg – ½ teaspoon*
Ground Mace – ½ teaspoon*
All spice – ½ teaspoon*
Unsalted butter – 1-½ sticks (¾ cup), at room temperature
Sugar – 1-½ cups
Eggs – 2 large
Pure vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon
For the Pecan Crumb Topping
Brown Sugar – ⅓ cup
Pecans – ½ cup, chopped fine
All-purpose Flour – 3 tablespoon
Butter – 3 tablespoon, at room temperature
Plan-ahead! Take the butter and eggs out from the refrigerator ahead of time so that they are at room temperature by the time you get ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Line your muffin pans with liners or spray with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
*Feel free to use 2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice if you like instead of mixing cinnamon, mace, all-spice and nutmeg.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or another big mixing bowl), beat the butter and sugar until mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; and beat on medium speed till light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the vanilla and pumpkin puree and mix to combine. You might have to scrape the sides of bowl a few times. A rubber or silicone spatula comes in handy for this. Slowly add the flour mixture while the mixer is at lowest speed. Beat until just combined and do not over-mix.
To make the crumb topping, in a separate bowl, add all the crumb topping ingredients and mash together with a fork, until thoroughly combined.
Using an ice cream scoop or ¼ cup measure, divide the muffin batter to muffin pans, filling each muffin about ¾ full. Once all the batter has been used, top each muffin with the crumb topping. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins on a cooling rack for 10 minutes (like that is going to happen!) and enjoy!
Crumb topping adapted from a ThePioneerWoman.com recipe
If you want to use small or large loaf pans to bake these, adjust the bake time accordingly. It took me 40 minutes to bake the mini-loaf.
If not making the crumb topping, increase the sugar in muffin batter from 1.5 cups to 2 cups.
Feel free to use 2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice if you like instead of mixing cinnamon, mace, all-spice and nutmeg.
Stand mixer (I love my Kitchenaid)
Measuring cups and spoons
Knife and chopping board (to chop Pecans)
Paper muffin liners