Monday, October 15, 2007
All it takes is a little nip in the air and my mind goes to all things fall: fairs and festivals, Halloween and Thanksgiving, apples and pears and pumpkins! It's hard for my mind to not go to these things considering there are pumpkins piled in front of every grocery store, and there are pumpkin patches plopped all around town. Did you know that pumpkin is my favorite word? Just say it - isn't it fun? Doesn't it feel good rolling around in your mouth? It's a sweet word, and it can be a pretty sweet vegetable, too! Pumpkins, as I'm sure you already know, were a main staple of American Indian diets. They used dry pumpkin to weave into mats, and it's widely thought that the Indians taught settlers how to grow and eat pumpkins. The origin of pumpkin pie doesn't seem to be known for sure, so it may have been a settler recipe. And did you know that settlers also used pumpkins to brew their beer?
Pumpkins are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium, and pumpkin seeds and pumpkin-seed oil are a good source of zinc. Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, and can be made into so many yummy foods: pies, soups and muffins - just to name a few! These muffins - which I made miniature-sized - were fantastic. I had never seen pumpkin and butterscotch paired before, but as my friends and co-workers can tell you: It defininitely works! They were amazingly moist and not overly sweet. As one person said, "It's so nice to just get a small bite of butterscotch every now and then!" They make the house smell glorious while baking, and I actually saw one person sniffing the empty container I packed them in. Seriously.
You want one right now, with your coffee, don't you? I do. Hmmm. I might just have to go make some more right now....
Butterscotch Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from BakeSpace
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl mix flour, sugars, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the middle of the mixture.
3. In another bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin and butter. Stir in butterscotch chips and pecans. Pour into the well of dry ingredients. Stir just until just combined.
3. Spoon batter evenly into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
* To make mini muffins: Make as above, but when you spoon mixture into tins use miniature ones and don't feel cups to brim. I baked mine for 15 minutes, which was perfect. I have found in general that when making mini muffins or cupcakes you should go with about half the regular time, and check them on the low end to see if more time is needed.