I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since my last post, since I've been checking other super cool blogs and since I've last baked!! I missed Tuesday, so I guess Thursday will count as my TWD. It has definitely been a crazy two weeks with test after test and assignment after assignment. The year always starts off slow and then bam! you're hit with a million things to do and wishing for just one more hour... then I would be able cram a whole new chapter in... haha. I've pretty much been loading up my brain for each test and then letting it all out after to make room for the next round of stuff. Today, I ended my day with my 6-9pm lab after having finished 4 tests and 3 assigments since last Thursday and even though I didn't get home until 10, I just had to bake. Nothing could stop me, not even a very sleep deprived brain and body. Other than chocolate chip cookies, I couldn't think of anything easier to whip up. Maybe it's been a little too long, but something did not turn out right with my chocolate chip cookies, the dough was definitely stiffer than usual.. where did all the liquid go? I only poured 3/4 cups of melted butter with the flour, surely it didn't all get absorbed! Anyway.. maybe I'll save the rest for a chocolate chip cookie post, back to the pumpkin muffins!!
I actually made these on the Friday before the real TWD so technically I haven't been 2 weeks without baking, but it sure feels like it. I've never had pumpkin in any dessert other than pumpkin pie and honestly, I've never been able to eat more than a bite of pumpkin pie without feeling a little (actually a lot) grossed out. To be fair, those pies were storebought and I'm sure nothing beats homemade.. as with practically every baked good. As usual, I cut down the recipe to half except when it came to adding the pumpkin, I totally forgot and added the full amount! I guess I'll never know what these are supposed to really taste like unless I made them again and based on my experience with these, I don't think I should ever bake with pumpkin again. These were incrediably addicting, espeically with the blend of spices that let the pumpkin flavour come through. These have definitely climbed up the to top of my ranks for muffins, but I should probably try out the original recipe for a real test.
When I first got into baking, muffins were definitely one of the first things I wanted to try. Maybe it was those cute muffin liners or the ease with which those food network chefs make folding 'look' (not true for me.. I'm scared of folding!). I can't tell you how many muffins went into the trash before I almost wanted to quit altogether and forget about muffins. Then there was the whole debate about what is a muffin. Are they just a cupcake in disguise or really something healthier and breakfasty type? I used to be obsessed with reading recipes and looking at the different ratios of liquid to flour to fat and it actually killed me whenever I found muffin recipes that were really just cupcake recipes with a few blueberries thrown in. It's kind of the same thing I have with the whole bundt cake, pound cake issue. Sometimes I get so overly caught up with little details it literally takes me forever to decide on what to bake... I know.. how crazy! That's why I have TWD to help me decide every week.
These were actually the first muffins I made using the creaming method and is definitely how I'm making all my muffins from now on. The whole 'is it a muffin, it is a cupcake' issue may not be totally resolved, but I'm definitely leaning towards towards the light and fluffy style over the dense kind. Plus, who doesn't like watching the beautiful butter-sugar-egg emulsion! These were actually still a little dense, with double the amount of pumpkin that went in, but there was also a fluffy quality to it. Actually, they were kind of creamy in a melt in your mouth kind of way with a super tender crumb.. a little unexpected but I loved it! I wasn't too sure about raisins, but many TWDers mentioned that they really enjoyed it so I added half raisins and half craisins. When I cut a muffin in half I couldn't believe my eyes.. was there a flour pocket in the middle!! No, it was just flour stuck to the raisins I premixed with the flour to avoid folding altogether with my never gentle technique. phew!
Thanks to Kelly of Sounding of my Barbaric Gulp for choosing this recipe, which can be found on her blog and in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my Home to Yours. Don't forget to checkout the TWD Blogroll!