Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carving Out More Pumpkin- Pumpkin Muffins with Candied Pepitas

     As I am slowly working my way through the Flour Bakery cookbook, I have been on kind of a baking frenzy these past few days because there are so many of her recipes I want to make.  New cookbooks do that to me.
      I am not fond of pumpkin pie, but I love pumpkin muffins, especially at this time of year.  I had a go- to recipe I made for years, but these are even better. They are moist, spicy and surprisingly light. The candied pepitas add a nice crunch and an unusual twist..  Although the recipe says it makes 12, it made 18 muffins in my tins.  I also added some raisins and minced candied ginger because I like the combination of flavors.  All my regular tasters were very positive.

Pumpkin Muffins with Candied Pepitas
from Flour by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson

Candied Pepitas
3/4 cup (170 grams) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 egg white
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar

12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsulphured light or dark molasses
4 eggs
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)
1 can (16 ounces/454 grams) pumpkin puree
3 cups (420 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

To make the candied pepitas: Line a small tray with parchment paper.  In a small bowl, stir together the pepitas, egg white and sugar to make a loose slurry.  Pour the mixture onto the prepared tray and leave out, uncovered,  to dry overnight. The next day, using your fingers, break apart the pepitas into separate pieces. (can be prepared up to one week in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature)

     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
     Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  On low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition to combine the eggs and butter-sugar mixture thoroughly.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once more. On low speed, add the fresh orange juice and pumpkin and beat until combined.  The mixture will look somewhat curdled but will come together once you mix in the flour.
     In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves until well mixed.  Dump the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and fold carefully, just until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups to the rim.  Sprinkle the tips evenly with the candied pepitas.  Bake 30-45 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes and then remove from the pan.  ((post by Susan))

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