Muffins and I don’t always get along. They play games with my head. Coffee shops displaying their baskets of fresh baked muffins tempt me. They look healthy…but I have trust issues. So I make my own.
But when? I like a muffin in the morning or at least by a 10am break. And, I want it warm. Now, I am a morning person, but not quite like my friend Geni who wakes at 4m to bake! So I do a bit of prepping the night before. My dry and my wet are measured out, a sticky note reminds me to preheat the oven to 350 degrees, add 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of ghee and bake for 20-25 minutes. (Wet goes in the frig for the night, dry stays on the counter.) Perfect.
I can prep the espresso, dress, walk the dogs and return to freshly baked muffins in my own little coffee shop! And when I finally land a new job, there will be some lucky coworkers on the receiving end of my morning baking!
This past weekend my friend Susan and I joined my community garage sale. I think, no – I know I was more excited about our morning coffee and muffins and having a relaxing lunch afterward than selling my stuff! Besides after 3 moves, I have downsized quite a bit! (always look for the positive…always look for the positive…always look for the positive)
Speaking of 4am Geni, she recently posted a roundup of pumpkin desserts to check out. Just like zucchini and banana breads, pumpkin muffin recipes are endless. Here’s my version using spelt flour – my new favorite for its light texture and nutty flavor. Whole wheat pastry flour would work as well. Note: these make only 9 muffins, ideal for me as even with friends, I find 9 is plenty; who wants day old muffins anyway!
2 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans, chopped
1 cup low fat milk
¾ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup agave
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
1 whole egg or 2 egg whites, beaten well
½ cup oatmeal for sprinkling on top of muffins, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin pan or brush on ghee and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix well. If you followed my tip for prepping the night before, I simply add the egg and ghee and shake the jar really well! Combine the wet into the dry and mix gently, do not over mix muffin batter. Scoop about ¼ cup batter for each muffin. Sprinkle tops with oatmeal if you’d like. Fill empty wells with water about a 1/4 way up. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick tested. Makes about 9 muffins.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.