Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins, two ways

It's still November, so it's STILL pumpkin season, right?
I've confessed my love for pumpkin already...let me share with you two of my favorite muffins. One savory, one sweet.
These Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins come from the Baked Explorations cookbook.  I am IN.LOVE. with these muffins (I would happily eat all 12 in one sitting).  Even though they are listed in the breakfast section of the cookbook, they are wonderful with a cup of butternut squash soup or a bowl chili.

Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins
{adapted from Baked Explorations}

1 c. canned pumpkin
3 TBSP sour cream
2 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, cooled and melted
2 c. flour
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 & 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 & 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 & 1/4  c. grated sharp white cheddar

Preheat oven to 400.  Use a paper towel to lightly coat the insides of 12 muffin cups with vegetable oil.

Whisk together the pumpkin and sour cream.  Whisk in the eggs and cooled, melted butter until combined.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and brown sugar.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients into the well and gently fold until combined.  Fold in 3/4ths of the cheese.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Sprinkle tops with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out the muffins to a cooling rack.  Serve warm.

{{*sigh*}}

Next up....the sweet.
These muffins can also be called "cake muffins."  They're SO easy and SO delicious.  Yes, they are made from a cake mix...and you know, a cake mix now and then comes in handy.

{And that pumpkin makes 'em healthy. Trust me, I'm a blogger.}

If you are one of the crazy pumpkin-haters (and I know you're out there), never fear, these don't taste like pumpkin, they taste like CAKE!

Vanilla Pumpkin Muffins

2 egg whites
1 box French Vanilla cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
sanding or sparkling sugar

Preheat the oven to 350.  Lightly coat 15 or so baking liners with cooking spray or vegetable oil.  Place in a muffin tin.

Lightly beat the egg whites. Stir in the cake mix and the pumpkin.  Stir until combined.

Spoon into the prepared baking cups and top with a bit of sanding sugar for a little sparkle.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops bounce back when gently pressed.

Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.

How do you like your pumpkin?  Sweet or savory?

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