The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun! The buzz usually begins when the November cooking magazine issue arrives, usually with a big, gleaming turkey on the cover. Spontaneously, I took a Thanksgiving IQ quiz in one of the magazines and learned that I’m hardly a master, even after 14 years of hosting. I didn’t know that pumpkin pie is America’s favorite pie! Talking about pumpkins, these pumpkin apple muffins make a great snack and actually have no white sugar, but are sweetened with maple syrup instead. I thought they would make a nice addition to a holiday meal or even a post-Thanksgiving breakfast.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup mild unsulphured molasses (don’t use Blackstrap molasses, I used Grandma’s brand)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 15 ounces pumpkin purée
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 medium-sized apple of your choice, peeled, cored and cut into a small dice
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rack in the center of the oven. Fill a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
With a hand mixer or a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, molasses, maple syrup and vanilla on medium speed until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the apple juice and the pumpkin puree and beat on low speed until combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and the cut-up apple. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry flour mixture into the wet butter- molasses mixture. Mix until just combined. With a small scoop or spoon, fill the the 12-cup muffin tin. The batter will be overflowing out of the cups.
Bake the muffins for 35-40 minutes. A wooden skewer or toothpick should come out clean, when inserted into the middle of the muffin. The batter is moist, so make sure the muffins are cooked all the way through. Let the muffins cool completely in the muffin tin. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to three weeks.
Inspiration: Baking with Less Sugar