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Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

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Well it’s that time of year again that I like to call “smashed pumpkin season”. Our family home is right smack in the middle of a major university, an elementary school, a middle school and a high school. Do you know how much fun it must be for any number of random age kids to smash pumpkins in the street? It must be a total blast cause come on, y’all see it …every year, on at least one street. Thus, “smashed pumpkin season” – Anyway…..pumpkins!!! Who doesn’t love them? OK, there are some of you out there that might not love a good pumpkin something or other but I suspect most of us love em’! Or love at least one pumpkin dish…whether it be pumpkin curry or pumpkin ravioli or the classic pumpkin pie…This is a recipe that combines two things I love: doughnuts and muffins!! These can’t be beat and would be great on a cold fall morning with a good cup of coffee or hot cider, yum!!

For the Muffins:

10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup buttermilk
1¼ cups pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling
2 tablespoons molasses (yes, molasses – we love molasses, but you already know that by now:-)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 chopped pecans (I like to toast them first but you don’t have to)

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup granulated sugar
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

 

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups.

2. Making the Muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, molasses, vanilla and pumpkin; set aside.

3. Beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the pumpkin mixture, beating until barely combined. Turn off the mixer and fold the nuts into batter,  with a rubber spatula to incorporate the nuts and to catch any pockets of flour that weren’t incorporated. The less you mess with the batter the more tender the muffins will be.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffins cups (about a heaping 1/3 cup batter). Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

5. Making the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating: While the muffins are resting, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Working with one muffin at a time, remove the muffins from the pan, brush all over with the melted butter, then toss to coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Return to the wire rack and let cool completely (or not (!) – I happen to love them warm!!)

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(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

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