Saturday, October 31, 2009

CEiMB: Pumpkin Muffins

Now that I have a large refrigerated container of roasted squash, it is time to begin to create.  And what better place to start than with these mouth-watering Pumpkin Muffins ... another Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe by Ellie Krieger.  This week's recipe was chosen by Oddball OvenMitt ... and a timely choice it is as pumpkin fits perfectly with the autumn season.

Pumpkin Muffins

2006, Ellie Krieger
Makes 12 Muffins

  • I cooked a giant squash instead of using canned pumpkin .. it seems that pumpkin is not popular here ... canned pumpkin does not exist in Peten.  I did find some small fresh pumpkins at the Maxi-Bodega (Walmart) but they were too expensive.  In the end, I bought the giant squash at the market, thinking that the price would be better, and later that day, found the same size of sqash at the Maxi-Bodega for half the price.  Live and Learn.
  • There is only one type of flour here .. white flour.  However, a few years ago, when I wanted to start making and selling bran muffins to local hotels, I managed to convince a local store to carry bran ... so when I want a whole wheat flour, I mix the bran back into the white flour, using the concentration I need to create the finished product that I want.  For this recipe, I used 1 3/4 cups of white flour, and 1/4 cup of bran.
  • The brown sugar that I use is "panela".  Panela is the direct result of boiling down sugar cane juice until it goes past the molasses stage and actually hardens.  In effect, it is molasses that has been taken one step further in the refining process.
  • I'm pretty sure that the molasses that I used was not unsulphered.  Molasses is another ingredient that is not sold in stores here.  About 5 years ago, I looked everywhere for molasses to use to make some of Mom's famous molasses cookies, and eventually I found a rich farmer who had brought in a tanker truck FULL of molasses to sell to other farmers in the area ... I discovered that this is one of the ways of providing extra fattening nourishment for cattle, and is not eaten by humans!  I explained to him that I was looking for molasses for cooking (he had never heard of such a thing) and asked if I could buy some.  He was selling by the barrel, and didn't have any containers for smaller sales, but he poured the last of the Coke out of his 2-liter bottle, washed it out and filled it up from a spigot in the side of the huge tanker truck.  He refused to take any money for it insisting that it was so little, that it didn't matter.  So, I have had this 2-litre bottle of PURE MOLASSES lying in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator for a long long time (like years).  I could never bring myself to use it, not only because I wouldn't not be able to replace it but I also thought that it would be too strong for my recipes.  Thanks to this recipe, I have finally opened the bottle and begun using it.
  • Several comments mentioned that the spicing was nt strong enough so I used a liberal hand when measuring ... not doubling the amounts, but rounding up the measuring spoons.
  • I used my own home made yogurt instead of buttermilk

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined.

Add the other egg and whisk well.

Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla.

Whisk in the flour mixture in two batches,

alternating with the buttermilk.

Whisk until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.

Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold.  Cool completely on the rack.


Delicious!  The molasses really boosted the flavor of the spices and added to the distinctive "pumpkin pie" flavor.  The crunch of the pumpkin seeds made for a perfect topping.  I must have used smaller muffin cups that was called for, because I ended up with 18 muffins.  I'm glad I did or I might not have had enough to photograph!


Great job, you are so resourceful, it is impressive. And your muffins really look amazing.

Don't forget to send me over your recipe pick when you have a chance :)

Great post. I have been contemplating using local pumpkins/ayotes for baking, too. They used to carry canned pumpkin in HiperPaiz, but it's been hard to find this year. Thanks for posting the whole process.

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