'Tis the season to get that pumpkin flavor.
With the start of fall, coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants are bringing in everything pumpkin. But there's a way to get pumpkin treats without the cost. Pumpkin muffins are an easy alternative using almost nothing more than the kitchen essentials.
To save time when baking, you can preheat the oven before you start mixing together the ingredients. That way you are not waiting for your oven to get its act together. For these muffins, the oven needs to be at 400 degrees.
Grease your muffin pan if you want, but a less messy and more guaranteed way to ensure no stuck-muffins that crumble into a pile of disappointment, is to use muffin cups. Place one of these in every indent in the pan.
Now, it's time to prepare the ingredients.
Mix one and a half cups flour, two teaspoons baking powder, one-half teaspoon salt, one-half teaspoon cinnamon and one-half teaspoon nutmeg together.
In order to get a consistent mix, sift the mixed ingredients into a large bowl. If you do not have a sifter, do not fret — mix it thoroughly with a fork.
In another bowl, beat an egg and add one-half cup sugar, one-half cup milk, one-half cup pumpkin and one-half cup vegetable oil. Add this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until everything is uniform.
Getting the pumpkin flesh is like scraping out a squash. In order to soften it up, you can microwave pieces of pumpkin. First cut it in half — the smaller the pieces you have, the faster it will cook. For a small pumpkin, microwave it for five to eight minutes.
Test how done your pumpkin is by sticking a fork into it. If the fork sinks in without too much force, you can scrape out the flesh by running the fork across it. Be careful not to overcook it, though.
Scrape about a cup of pumpkin into the bowl and mix until smooth. You can also use canned pumpkin if using the real pumpkin scares you more than running out of candy corn.
Fill each muffin cup three-fourths of the way full. An easy way to get an even amount of batter is to scoop spoonfuls into the cups. This way is also less messy.
Bake them for 15-18 minutes. You can test if they are done cooking by sticking a toothpick into a muffin center. If it comes out clean, the batter is cooked.
Make sure you let them cool before digging in.