These muffin bites are perfect to pop into your mouth for a quick & sweet pumpkin treat. Mollie Katzen, whose Moosewood Cookbook these muffins are derived from, describes these as tasting like "an entire holiday season." They do. The ginger spice and orange peel are what differentiate this recipe from other traditional pumpkin muffins: the ginger contributes a spicy biting undertone, like a gingersnap, and the orange peel adds a slight citrusy bitterness that prevents an overly saccharine sweet. These zesty ingredients complement the mild pumpkin well. —KvellintheKitchen
20-25 mini muffins; 8-10 regular sized muffins
1 1/2 cups
flour, unbleached all-purpose, whole-wheat, or mixed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pan with mini muffin cups and lightly spray with nonstick spray. (If making regular sized muffins, spray 8 standard-sized muffin cups, and preheat oven to 400 degrees).
Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, spices, granulated sugar, and orange zest in a medium-sized bowl, and stir until well blended. Crumble in the brown sugar, and mix with a fork and/or your fingers until thoroughly combined.
Measure the pumpkin into a second medium-sized bowl. Add the egg, milk, vanilla, and cooled butter or oil/applesauce and beat with a fork or a whisk until well blended.
Slowly pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon or a rubber spatula from the bottom of the bowl until you have a uniform batter. Don't overmix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. For a serious time and energy saver, spoon the batter into a plastic bag, sealing tightly, and cut off the bottom corner of the plastic bag, leaving a 2 millimeter hole. Then, similarly to frosting a cake, carefully squeeze 1 dollop of batter through the hole into each mini muffin cup. If making regular sized muffins, fill tins with batter using 2 spoons: One to scoop up the batter and the other to push it into the cup.
Prepare granola topping by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle each muffin with 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled granola. Press granola lightly into batter.
Bake for 15 minutes (20 to 25 minutes for regular sized muffins) or until lightly browned on top, and a toothpick inserted all the way into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove each muffin from the pan, and place on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Muffins can be stored in covered containers or resealable plastic bags. .