TWD: PUMPKIN MUFFINS

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2008

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There are two kinds of people in this world: cupcake people and muffin people. I happen to be a cupcake girl. It’s not that I don’t like muffins, because I do. I just like cupcakes more. Some might say cupcakes…..muffins….., they’re pretty much the same thing, except that you can get away with eating muffins for breakfast. Not true. Just ask my friend Cakespy, who wrote a very informative and (ahem) scientific treatise on the subject a while back. I won’t go into the details of her findings, but suffice it to say, there are significant differences between the two.

With this in mind, let’s move on to this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie assignment: Pumpkin Muffins. When I first learned of this recipe choice, I was kind of excited. Fresh, hot muffins laced with pumpkin, raisins, nuts and cinnamon sounded like the perfect thing to have with my coffee on a crisp, cool Autumn morning. Oh…..Wait…..I live in Florida. We don’t have crisp, cool Autumn mornings here. Oh, well. I was still up for it, so I gathered my ingredients and made muffins.

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Just to prove what a good sport I am, I even ended up making two batches of pumpkin muffins, so that I would have plenty to share. For the first batch, I stuck to the original recipe, using golden raisins and chopped pecans. For moist, plump and juicy raisins, I soaked them in some apple cider for a few hours.

For the second batch, I mixed it up a little and used dried apples and cranberries with chopped walnuts. Also, since some of my nearest and dearest cannot have cinnamon, I left it out and instead, added a few tablespoons of pure maple syrup to the batter.

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The recipe was fairly easy and I didn’t run into any problems along the way. As I baked the muffins for the instructed length of time, my house smelled heavenly – just like pumpkin pie! When I removed them from the oven, they looked nice and golden on top too. Unfortunately, when I broke into one and tasted it, it was a little dry and spongy. Not bad, but a little “meh”. Certainly, not what I was expecting! I’m not sure what I did wrong. I was very careful not to overwork the batter, but perhaps I did. In any case, while the muffins were tasty, they were just okay for me. Luckily, most of them will be going to work with me today. (Those people will eat anything!)

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My thanks go out to Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Culp for choosing this week’s recipe. If you’d like to try these pumpkin muffins for yourself, you can find the recipe in Dorie’s book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, or here on Kelly’s site. If you’d like to see what the rest of the TWD gang has done with this recipe, visit our blogroll.

50 responses to TWD: Pumpkin Muffins

  1. On October 21, 2008 at 11:11am, Jen of A2eatwrite said...

    I often find that cookbook recipes for muffins are a little on the “meh” side – mostly because I think they tend to imitate commercial muffins. I’ve asked for the Dorie cookbook for Christmas… I got it from the library and I love it.

    I’ve enjoyed so many of her recipes, but when I saw the pumpkin muffin recipe it didn’t look that exciting.

  2. On October 21, 2008 at 11:27am, Núria said...

    Girl… your muffins look divine!!! I’ll bake these ones for sure one of these days :D :D

    I’ve always wondered about the difference…here we call them madalenas, just like that!

  3. On October 21, 2008 at 11:47am, Lo said...

    Crisp autumn mornings or not, these look pretty fabulous.

    Even a cupcake girl could learn to love these.

  4. On October 21, 2008 at 12:01pm, Jodie said...

    Cupcakes all the way! I love your pics- your muffins look fabulous!

  5. On October 21, 2008 at 12:23pm, Judy@nofearentertaining said...

    The muffins look really good. Too bad they were dry!

  6. On October 21, 2008 at 12:26pm, ~Kimberly said...

    The muffins look fabulous!

  7. On October 21, 2008 at 12:58pm, Peggy said...

    Oh the maple sounds sooooo good to me. And even here in the South (I’m in Alabama), we have cool enough mornings for a muffin or two! Yours look fantastic, as always.

  8. On October 21, 2008 at 1:16pm, kim said...

    i am definitely a cupcake girl ;) i had the same experience as you with these. yours look great, though, especially covered in that jam :)

  9. On October 21, 2008 at 1:45pm, Patsyk said...

    I like a really delicious muffin, but I would never turn down a cupcake either!

    I am always so impressed with your food photography… the lighting is perfect and you really stage/style the food so that it’s visually appealing every time!

  10. On October 21, 2008 at 2:46pm, noble pig said...

    I feel I’m a cupcake and a muffin girl. I really am.

    I also like your version of the recipe better! Especially with the maple syrup addition, yum.

  11. On October 21, 2008 at 4:26pm, lusciousfood.com said...

    MAPLE SYRUP!!! You are a genius.

  12. On October 21, 2008 at 5:19pm, Bria said...

    Your muffins look really delicious!

  13. On October 21, 2008 at 5:22pm, Nicole said...

    I am more partial to cupcakes myself. Partly due to the frosting. But if I were to go for a muffin, I’d take your pumpkin ones!

  14. On October 21, 2008 at 6:34pm, squawmama said...

    MMMMMM… I like both muffins and cupcakes and would never turn down either one… They looked delicious even if they were meh… I will be baking some up really soon…

    (((HUGS)))
    Donna

  15. On October 21, 2008 at 6:45pm, Zen Chef said...

    Can I soak the raisins in rum instead of apple cider? ;-)
    It looks really delicious. I take a dozen. :-)

  16. On October 21, 2008 at 8:29pm, Tami said...

    Love the changes that you’ve made! They sure look good!

  17. On October 21, 2008 at 8:35pm, pinkstripes said...

    I like the idea of dried apples and cranberry. Could you taste the addition of maple syrup?

    Your muffins look gorgeous.

  18. On October 21, 2008 at 9:00pm, Tartelette said...

    Happy belated anniversary! The muffins are making me wish I had some for breakfast tomorrow! Well done!

  19. On October 21, 2008 at 9:05pm, rainbowbrown said...

    Apple cider and maple syrup both sound terrific. Well done.

  20. On October 21, 2008 at 9:13pm, Katie Barlow said...

    I have to say I am a cupcake and muffin person. But I do agree with you that moist is key! Your muffins look beautiful!

  21. On October 21, 2008 at 10:10pm, Laura said...

    My favorite culinary quote of all time (it sounds like you will appreciate it): “Muffins are for people who don’t have the ‘nads to order cake for breakfast.” –Seth, “Kitchen Confidential” (the show, not the book)

    I do enjoy pumpkin bread, but in general I like pound cake over quick bread any day.

  22. On October 21, 2008 at 10:19pm, Susie Homemaker said...

    ooooooh…what yummy pictures.
    btw – i like muffins, but cupcakes are so much better.

  23. On October 21, 2008 at 10:46pm, The Food Librarian said...

    Yummy! Yummy! I love the addition of maple syrup. Sounds very “fall” (I’m in Los Angeles so I completely understand your “fall” situation!) :)

  24. On October 21, 2008 at 11:01pm, Engineer Baker said...

    I want one, with whatever you have slathered on there. They look delicious. I’m more in the muffin camp, but I have been known to eat frosting with a spoon, so maybe I’m on the fence?

  25. On October 22, 2008 at 5:44am, Kim said...

    Even though I am a cupcake girl myself, I would never ever turn down one of your muffins.

  26. On October 22, 2008 at 6:17am, SiHaN said...

    that sounds kind of like my folks as well. They eat ANYTHING! u never ever see anything get thrown out w/o a fight. haha.

  27. On October 22, 2008 at 6:26am, Kathleen said...

    OH YUMMMMMMMM

  28. On October 22, 2008 at 7:18am, Cristine said...

    Way to make two different versions! I would love to try these with craisins!

  29. On October 22, 2008 at 8:09am, mimi said...

    even if you didn’t find them spectacular, they still came out looking great and i bet the people you gave them too still loved them!

  30. On October 22, 2008 at 9:04am, LyB said...

    Your variations sound great and those muffins look just perfect to me!

  31. On October 22, 2008 at 9:37am, Amy said...

    Dried apples? Maple syrup? Apple cider??!!! What GREAT ideas!! Not only do I love you because you’re a fellow singer, but also because you’re blog is FANTASTIC!! Keep the great ideas comin’! :-)

    -Amy @ http://www.singforyoursupperblog.com

  32. On October 22, 2008 at 11:00am, Lisa said...

    I think it was the raisins! Soaking them is sure to be an improvement, still raisins will put me off any baked goods. They sure do look pretty though!

  33. On October 22, 2008 at 4:04pm, Karen said...

    I like to soak my raisins in a little sherry or brandy. Yum!

    Your photographs are beautiful!

    Karen

  34. On October 22, 2008 at 7:16pm, TeaLady said...

    Can I put icing on my muffin and call it a cup muff. Either way works. Yours look great. Sorry they didn’t turn out for you. Mine were meh, too. Maybe I’ll try again with more spice and less baking.

  35. On October 22, 2008 at 8:10pm, Amber said...

    You always take such beautiful photos. I love the ones with the leaves. I just bought Dories book for $9.99 at Ross so I plan to join this week.

  36. On October 22, 2008 at 8:43pm, Meg said...

    Both versions sound delicious!

  37. On October 22, 2008 at 8:49pm, Heather B said...

    Your muffins look fabulous! Great job!

  38. On October 22, 2008 at 8:57pm, Peter M said...

    How do I describe the orange colour of these muffins? Sunburst comes to mind…fab job.

  39. On October 22, 2008 at 9:05pm, Passionate Baker said...

    yummmm, ur muffins look great!!
    goood job!
    <3

  40. On October 22, 2008 at 9:49pm, Heather said...

    mmmm the pumpkin muffins look delicious! yum :)

  41. On October 23, 2008 at 4:33am, Marthe said...

    Your muffins look delicious!! I love the variation you made!

  42. On October 23, 2008 at 7:52am, Choosy Beggar Tina said...

    Love the muffin variations, but I’m still hanging on the line about how you’re in FL and don’t have crisp, cool autumn mornings.

    I live in Ontario, and we have officially had our first snow storm. IN OCTOBER.

  43. On October 23, 2008 at 11:56am, Sandy Smith said...

    Maple syrup, dried apples – great ideas! Sorry yours turned out “meh” – I loved the way mine turned out, but I did use a few adaptations, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or if I just have “meh” taste in muffins!

    Speaking of which, am I some kind of deviant if I love both cupcakes AND muffins? I fear I cannot choose . . . :)

    Your stuff is gorgeous, as usual.

  44. On October 23, 2008 at 2:44pm, Mike of Mike's Table said...

    Those muffins look awesome! I recently made some as well (more cupcake-y in style, as great minds think alike ;-) ). My first batch had a drier-than-I’d-hoped-for texture as well. I just cut the cooking time short by about 10 minutes the next time and that made a world of difference for me, in case that’s helpful *shrugs*

  45. On October 23, 2008 at 3:28pm, Audrey said...

    I’m writing down the raisins soaked in apple cider thing right now before I forget it. My muffins were dry and spongy too, but your luscious photo hides it well. (Must say, I can’t see why anyone is even READING about muffins, never mind commenting on it, when they could be ogling that fairy tale of a cake and living happily ever after…

  46. On October 23, 2008 at 3:29pm, Audrey said...

    I’m writing down the raisins soaked in apple cider thing right now before I forget it. My muffins were dry and spongy too, but your luscious photo hides it well. (Must say, I can’t see why anyone is even READING about muffins, never mind commenting on it, when they could be ogling that fairy tale of a cake and living happily ever after…

  47. On October 24, 2008 at 9:51am, Gretchen Noelle said...

    Well, they look great. But I understand about them tasting…meh. Hope the coworkers enjoyed them!

  48. On October 26, 2008 at 12:46pm, Susan said...

    I know what you mean by “meh” when it comes to muffins. I don’t like to make them because I have that trouble all the time. I did find a great pumpkin muffin recipe and talk about easy! It’s one yellow cake mix and a 15oz can of pumpkin puree…just the mix and the pumpkin that’s all. Then add the spices you want and any extras you like. I topped them with wheat germ and made 36 mini-muffins. Change up the cake mix and think of all the flavors you could have.

  49. On October 26, 2008 at 1:04pm, white on rice couple said...

    Lets start a Cupcake girl club, I totally agree with you. I’ll take a cupcake over a muffin any day and they definitely are very different to me.
    Your desserts are just amazing! I’m totally inspired and need to attend the pastry school that you went to!

  50. On October 29, 2008 at 10:59pm, AmyRuth said...

    Your pumpkin muffins are making me hungry….but its late too. A snack, yumm. Great job there too. I’ve made them since this post and increased the pumpkin, and think I like them better.
    AmyRuth

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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