I'd have to say that one of the best things about autumn is that dishes with pumpkin as a main ingredient surge into the lime-light! I feel like Bubba talking to Forrest while they use their toothbrushes in the barracks in Vietnam: Anyway, it is like I was saying, pumpkin is the fruit of the harvest. There is pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin chili, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin granola, pumpkin ravioli, toasted pumpkin seeds, baked eggs with pumpkin and goat cheese, pumpkin pie, pumpkin curry, pumpkin soup, pumpkin in salad, pumpkin pancakes. And, umm, that's-that's about it.
Except that that's not it and I could keep going but won't!
Yesterday was a dreary, rainy, rather chilly-for-the-beginning-of-October-in-North-Carolina kind of Monday. And nothing wards off a case of the Mondays like warm soup, spicy croutons, and pumpkin muffins! So, much to Jason's chagrin, I rolled up my blue maternity sleeves and got busy dirtying nearly every dish in our kitchen. I always feel a little bad when the "I cooked, you clean" rule leaves him with a hefty pile of dishes, though I must say I do feel rather vindicated now that he's consumed four of these muffins in less than a twenty-four hour period!
Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Topping
Yields ~30 muffins.
Preheat oven 350º
In a large electric mixing bowl, beat together:
3 cups sugar
1 cup veggie oil
1 15 ounce can pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
In a medium bowl, mix together:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin in three batches, scraping down the sides and bottom of the electric mixing bowl after each addition.
Pour scant 1/3 cup of batter into lined muffin tins.
Pulse together in a food processor until crumbly (not a paste)
1/2 cup chilled butter
1/2-3/4 cup pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Sprinkle topping over the muffins.
Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy with a chai latte or your favorite hot beverage.