Just when I’d begun to think that summer might be making an early appearance this year, I awoke to a dreary, damp rainy day. Not much fun to be outside in, but definitely conducive to baking the kind of treats that complement a mid-afternoon coffee break. (Though I’ve got a pitcher of iced coffee in the fridge, I think today calls for a steaming mug of caffeine.) I’ve been on an organizing my cupboards kick thanks to my discovery of OXO’s Pop and Top containers, and this morning I came across a can of pumpkin that I had left over from the holidays. My friend Stephanie had sent me a recipe for fig and pumpkin scones over the weekend, which I contemplated making, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients, and scones can be a bit labor intensive. I needed a baked good that I could make quickly before my 2pm meeting. Hmmm…muffins? I logged onto Epicurious, typed in pumpkin muffins and this recipe came up. I didn’t have buttermilk, so per another reader’s suggestion, I substituted vanilla yogurt. Other tweaks: I used one cup of white whole wheat flour in place of one of the cups of all-purpose flour, and I omitted the pepitas because I didn’t have any. The golden raisins give the muffins a subtle burst of sweetness, so if you have them, add them in.
I filled the muffin cups to the brim, so I got 10 muffins from one batch. They’re moist and the pumpkin flavor is tasty without being overpowering. Yum!
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoon raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (pepitas), divided
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter muffin pan if not nonstick. Soak raisins in hot water 5 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, pumpkin, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then stir in raisins and 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds. Divide batter among muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining seeds. Bake until a wooden pick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack.