Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pumpkin Muffins

I made pumpkin muffins last week and they were a big hit around here! The recipe made a ton (maybe 5 dozen), but you wouldn't be able to tell by the empty plate of muffins only four days after baking them. I woke up to a cool fall breeze and decided that today was the day to make more muffins. After brewing a pot of hazelnut coffee my mission for muffins continued! Mmmm. My recipe is one that was handed down from my grandmother's friend ( I can't trace the origins before that... but it has been a hit in our family for years!). It is delicious and reminds me of all the fall has to offer. At my house, we like to bake half of the batter as muffins and use the remaining half to fill loaf pans. In the mornings we just toast a slice or two and spread a little cream cheese on the warm bread. I also like to freeze some of the loaves and save them for a busy morning when there is no time for baking.

Here's the recipe:

3 cups of sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups of pumpkin (1 lb can)
1 cup salad oil
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp alspice
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup water

Combine sugar, eggs, pumpkin and oil. Sift dry ingredients together and add to sugar pumpkin mixture, alternately adding water. Place in muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees F. Muffins take about 25 - 30 minutes. The small loaf pans take approximately 45 minutes to bake and a large loaf pan will take nearly an hour to bake.

I am trying to make this slightly more healthy than it is. I know... I know... its never going to be Weight Watchers friendly or Sugar Busters friendly, but I will try and add a few more nutritious ingredients. See my notes below for some successful substitutions.

1. sugar - I use 2 1/2 cups. I'd like to try to substitute the sugar for honey, but I haven't tried this yet.
2. salad oil - I use 3/4 of a cup. I think that the recipe could be reduced a bit more too... maybe even 2/3 cup. Next time I will try that.
3. flour - Instead of using 3 1/2 cups of flour, I have tried adding a cup of oatmeal (run it through the food processor to blend it up first) and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Personally, I enjoy the slightly crunchier texture, however some of my family prefers a smoother texture to the muffins. Its all in what you prefer.

Enjoy and good luck! Tell me what you think of the recipe and any other substitutions you may have!

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