When you work at home alone, in a log cabin in the woods, you treasure the afternoon tea visits that mark the end of the business day and break the solitude. It's traditional, when someone stops in for tea, to offer a cookie or cheese and crackers, or some slices of fruit. Today I'm serving pumpkin-pecan mini muffins, easy to make without dirtying the mixer, and a perfect late afternoon pick-me-up. I swapped white whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour, to give the muffins a bit of whole grain goodness. These little two-bite muffins are sweet, but not too sweet, and if you don't like pecans, use walnuts or no nuts. Of course, if mini muffins aren't your thing, make full-figured muffins in a regular 12-muffin pan, and bake them for two or three minutes more.
Pumpkin-pecan mini muffins
From the pantry, you'll need: baking spray, all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, brown sugar, molasses, canola (or vegetable) oil, eggs, pure vanilla extract, pecans.
Adapted from a recipe for pumpkin muffins by Ellie Krieger on Food Network, this recipe makes 36 mini muffins.
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 3 12-muffin mini-muffin pans (or whatever configuration will give you 36 muffins) with baking spray, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg, and whisk well, then whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Then, whisk in the flour in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the pecans, just until the batter is combined (do not overmix).
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans (I use a small cookie scoop to do this, but a spoon will work also). Tap the pans on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you're using multiple pans, you might want to rotate them midway through the cooking time.
Place the muffin pans on a cooling rack and, after 15 minutes, pop the muffins out into a basket. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Sour cream cinnamon streusel muffins with pecan filling, from Pinch My Salt
Apple cake with butter pecan glaze, from Cooking on the Side
Maple pecan muffins, from Joy the Baker
Gooey pecan pie with a Nutella bottom, from What We're Eating
Brown sugar and banana muffins with pecans, from For the Love of Cooking
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