October 31, 2011
Every year, I tell myself that I'll plan for Halloween well in advance; that I'll make myself an amazing costume and join in on the festivities. And every year, October comes around and I find myself completely unmotivated. It's not that I don't like Halloween - I love pumpkins, candy, pretending, and dressing up - but I have yet to think of a costume idea that really inspires me. Honestly, I think that Halloween is a holiday I could really get into, but that sorta thing requires a certain amount of dedication on my part. I wouldn't want to contribute haphazardly.
But just because I'm not joining in on the costumed festivities this year doesn't mean I can't celebrate Halloween in my own little way. I made these jumbo Brown Butter Pumpkin Muffins specifically for the occasion, which instantly put me in the spirit of things. So tonight, I'll be passing out candy, and watching movies with a few friends who also forgot their costumes this year.
Whether you're all dressed up, or hangin' low like me, I hope you have a happy Halloween!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 12 regular or 6 jumbo muffins.
1/2 cup (one stick) butter
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons maple syrup (I used grade B)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, or:
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
3/4 cup chopped dried fruit (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F, and line or grease your muffin tins. You can use either your standard muffin tin or jumbo sized.
Place the stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to stir occasionally until the butter has turned a golden brown color and gives off a nutty scent. Remove from heat, and allow the butter to cool for five minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the butter, pumpkin puree, buttermilk, eggs and maple syrup. In another bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, spices, salt, baking soda and the brown sugar. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, and stir until the mixture has just combined. Add any chopped nuts or dried fruits that you'd like, and fold in with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Divide the batter evenly in the cups of your baking tin, and bake in the middle of your oven for 20-25 minutes for the standard muffin tin, or 30-40 minutes for the jumbo-sized tin. Check to see if the muffins are done by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done.
Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, and serve. Enjoy!
Adapted from Pumpkin Walnut Muffins from Epicurious.