07 February 2016

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Muffins

It goes without question that I prefer not to operate machinery or measure ingredients pre-coffee. I like to wake up to something there. Maybe if my kitchen were bigger, I'd feel that common pajama-wearing, batter-making, buttermilk-spilling on flannel urge on Sundays, but I want mornings to get going even on the weekends without sacrificing homemade baked goods. Therefore, I have learned, I'm a make-ahead batter kinda girl. We've discussed this over scones. And you should be too, because you can be. This pumpkin muffin recipe, barely adapted from Thomas Keller is an absolute winner. Not too sweet, perfectly pumpkin-y, and ready to go when you wake up. I'm starting to work through the pumpkin puree I made and froze in the Fall from a giant Long Island cheese pumpkin I was given (money in the bank!) and knew I'd need to tell you about these.

The batter is a snap to put together and rests overnight in the fridge (similar to my other favorite make-ahead muffins.) If you don't have a stand mixer, a hand-held one will do but the stand mixer fitted with a whisk is particularly nice here. I only made a few changes to Keller's recipe --I reduced the sugar just a bit, omitted the raisins and opted for a sprinkle pumpkin seeds and raw sugar on top instead. I also made regular size muffins, not jumbos, so they baked more quickly. Anyone familiar with the Bouchon Bakery recipes knows that Keller has some quirks, and like a lot of people of his kind, his recipes can seem intimidating. I promise you this is super simple, and it's his trick of bumping the oven temp up then lowering down, that puffs up the tops gorgeously.

I know what I'll be doing with the rest of my frozen pumpkin. Enjoy : )

Pumpkin Muffins 
Bouchon Bakery

Notes: This recipe will give you 10-12 regular size muffins. I made half of this, and got 5. If you want to make jumbos, you'll get 6 jumbos and need to bake 45-48 mins instead of 30 mins.

1 ¼ cups plus 3 tablespoons (200 g) all-purpose flour (I swapped in a few Tbsp whole wheat)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground allspice
½ teaspoon kosher salt or a scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (222 g) granulated sugar (I reduced to 195 grams, about 2 1/2 Tbsp less)
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons (100 g) canola oil
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 g) pure canned pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
Large handful of lightly toasted pumpkin seeds and raw sugar (optional but recommended)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. 
2. Combine the sugar and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on low speed for about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin, increase the speed to medium-low, and mix for about 1 minute, until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs in two additions, mixing for about 15 seconds after each, or until just combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing on low speed for about 15 seconds after each, or until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have settled there. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 36 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a muffin pan and spoon batter evenly into cups, stopping ½ inch from the top. Sprinkle seeds and sugar over if using.
6. Put the pan in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 325°F, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. 

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