Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Sticky-Bun Pumpkin Muffins

Just because you and yours will be sitting down to an enormous meal sometime tomorrow doen't mean you should skimp on breakfast.  It's the holidays, dang it.

The typical Turkey Day pantry includes all the ingredients in this recipe.  It's what would result if sticky pecan rolls and pumpkin bread had a love child.  And it's the perfect beginning to your food marathon.

Sticky-Bun Pumpkin Muffins
From Southern Living.
Makes 2 dozen muffins.
(Note: I halved the recipe and it worked quite well.  Don't worry about the leftover half-can of pumpkin.  Toss it with pasta and sage or stir into your favorite butternut squash soup recipe.)

2 cups pecan halves and pieces
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (I just used a pinch each of ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg)
 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Stir together melted butter and next two ingredients. Spoon one rounded teaspoonful butter mixture into each cup of two well-greased 12-cup muffin pans, and top each with one rounded tablespoonful pecans.

Stir together flour and next four ingredients in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pumpkin, next two ingredients, and 2/3 cup water; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling three-fourths full. Place an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan on lower oven rack to catch any overflow.

Bake at 350° on middle oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert pan immediately to remove muffins, and arrange muffins on a wire rack. Spoon any topping remaining in muffin cups over muffins. Let cool 5 minutes.

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