Happy October Pumpkin Muffins


October is definitely my favorite month of the year.  “Back to School Chaos” settles a bit and “Holiday Craziness” has yet to begin.  The weather is usually tremendous.  Here in Maine, the leaves are just so gorgeous.  Last weekend, we headed down to the Seashore Trolley Museum for their annual Pumpkin Patch Trolley ride.  Several trolley rides and five pumpkins later, we managed to find a farm stand selling apples and cider: Decidedly, a perfect Fall day.

My “go to” pumpkin muffin recipe, from Muffins A – Z by Marie Simmons:

Pumpkin Praline Muffins

Freeze extra pumpkin for another use.

3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup mashed canned pumpkin
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or butter.

2.  Make the topping:  Cream the butter, flour and brown sugar together in a small bowl until smooth.  Blend in the pecans, set aside.

3.  Make the batter:  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves in a bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar.

4.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, molasses, egg and vanilla until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients all at once and fold just until evenly moistened.  Do not overmix.

5.  Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.  Press 1 Tbsp. of the praline topping onto the tops of each muffin.  Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean, 20 -22 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack before removing from the pan.

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