Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

It reminds of Muffin Mondays in high school, "Banana Pancakes" by Jack Johnson, my Uncle Dave's diner food at the shore every morning, the strata scene in The Family Stone and the reason you go to church.

I don't eat much in the mornings, which is why I think I fell in love with muffins. You can have variety, they're filling, and easy to take with you. I have made over 52 varieties of muffins. This pumpkin muffin, which is so fitting now that fall has finally arrived (and I can't find my winter coat and still need to knit myself some gloves), is pretty fail-proof. The secret is the pumpkin pie spice and (lean in close) not overmixing the batter. Mix just to combine. Mix just to combine. Mix just to combine. Let some lumps be, use a wooden spoon, try to limit yourself to 15 or so turns around the bowl. Otherwise, you're screwing with the gluten. Mixing just until combined will yield fluffy donuts have nice muffintops.

This pumpkin muffin recipe is near and dear to my heart, and first appeared in Gourmet magazine in November of 2006.

Pumpkin Muffins

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-oz can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice (a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice)
1.25 cups plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F. Put liners in muffin cups.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, 1.25 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then stir, preferably with a wooden spoon, in flour mixture until just combined.
Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.
Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about 3/4 full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture (the caramelized sugar will give you a nice crunch). Bake until puffed and golden brown and a toothpick or skewer inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

I knew I wouldn't have time to bake this week, so my mom bought me 5 donuts, and a cruller for Matt, at Yum-Yum, where they make their own donuts.
I played with the self-timer on my camera this morning. The fact I had chocolate icing all over my face was not to be missed.

1 comment:

Tori said...

That mug is awesome

and also, someday you have to give me a crash course in cooking so everybody I know stops going "LOL OH OKAY" when I say I'm going to make something.