Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins

Even as I complain about the fall, I do have to admit that I like cooking and baking with fall ingredients.  Every fall, I roast several sugar pumpkins and try to find interesting ways to use up the homemade pumpkin puree.  The last time I did, I happened to have my family over for dinner and asked them what I should make with my pumpkin.  Kenzie requested pumpkin muffins, and soon we found these: mini cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins.  They're tiny little muffins made with pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice (AKA cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg).  They come out of the oven all fluffy and orange and cute.

But then... the cinnamon sugar part happens.  You melt a half stick of butter and dunk the muffins into it.  Once they're buttered, they get tossed into a cinnamon sugar mixture.  So now they're more like the cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins (or donuts) that you could get at a bakery or farm.  Sweet, soft, crunchy on the outside, and totally acceptable for dessert or breakfast.  So say I.

And yet, sadly, my mini muffins never got their dunk in butter and cinnamon sugar.  I had fully planned on it, but as soon as they came out of the oven, my family started grabbing them.  The muffins found themselves in bowls of ice cream (pumpkin ice cream from the farmer's market!) rather than bowls of butter.  By the time the pumpkin muffin grabbing spree was over, there were so few left that I didn't feel like going through all the trouble of melting and mixing and dunking for several muffins.
pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ice cream!

With that said, I am disappointed that I got lazy and didn't do it.  I think the crunchy cinnamon sugar coating would have really brought these muffins to the next level.  Just thinking about my refusal to finish the recipe with something that was really not optional has me grimacing.  If you try these babies out, promise me that you will make up for my mistake, and you will melt and mix and dunk.  And then tell me how great they are.


mini cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins
from Sally's Baking Addiction
yield 20 - 24 muffins

for muffins:
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
for cinnamon sugar coating:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin tin with nonstick spray.  Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar.  Add the egg and stir for about 1 minute.   Add the vanilla, pumpkin puree, and milk.  Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry.  Stir together until just combined.  Do not over mix.

3) Using a small spoon, spoon the batter into the muffin tins, about 2/3 way full.  For ease, spray the spoon with nonstick cooking spray.

4) Bake for 11 - 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  While the muffins are cooking, making the coating.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish.  In a separate small dish, melt the butter.  Once the muffins are relatively cool, dip into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar.  Muffins are best eaten on the same day, though they can be stored at room temperature for 3 days.

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