Tag Archives: non-dairy

Pumpkin Muffins with Crumb Topping… Top of the Muffin to Ya!


This morning I made pumpkin muffins with crumb topping. Why? Because it’s pumpkin season plain and simple. I was not in the mood for pumpkin muffins, but I found a can of pumpkin in my pantry (which I tend to always have) and decided to make them. Why I always have a can of pureed pumpkin is a mystery, but I think most bakers do. At least I hope I’m not alone in this! Isn’t the weekend always made better with a basket filled with muffins on the table and the smell of cinnamon in the air?

Maybe it’s all the subliminal messaging I feel I’m getting. Every time I walk into the grocery store (especially Trader Joe’s) right in the front display are the pumpkin Jo-Jo’s and everything pumpkin spice. It doesn’t stop there; pumpkin and pumpkin spice has found its way into coffee and tea, cereal, granola, ice cream, cookies, tortilla chips, salsa, biscotti, cream cheese, bagels, candy, and even challah bread! When did this happen? And what ever happened to the good old pumpkin muffin? Why has it been pushed aside? Shouldn’t it play a leading role in pumpkin season? I think so. That’s why I set out to make what I think is the most perfect, moist, and delicious pumpkin muffin with crumb topping.

I went through a lot of cookbooks and websites searching for the perfect muffin. Then I wrote down everything I love about them. I made about 4 batches before hitting on the perfect marriage. These are not too sweet and they stay nice and soft for a few days.* Raisins add a nice surprise and you know I’m crazy for crumb topping so both have a major role in my final version. I also used the whole can of pumpkin to see what would happen, and it was perfect. I just hate having a smidgen of pumpkin left in my fridge.

I also made a tray with sunflower seeds sprinkled on top which are very worthy of a mention here. If you prefer to skip the crumb, by all means sprinkle them with sunflower or even pumpkin seeds – both add a nice crunch to the top. I’m including the photo above so you can see how tender the cake is and how cute they are with sunflower seeds! Am I right?

I almost forgot to share this fun little tidbit about Ohio life with you. Last weekend was the Circleville, Ohio Pumpkin Show. It’s a whole weekend dedicated to pumpkins. In 14 years I have never been. Thanks to my friend Andrea, I can share her photo of the 2 largest pumpkins this year. A 1,701 pound pumpkin would sure make a lot of muffins! Usually I would end with Enjoy! But this time I’m going to end differently… You’re Welcome!

Ingredients:
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour spooned in and leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup extra light olive oil,** or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 – 15oz. can Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin***
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (large will work here as well)
1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk) at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup white raisins
confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Crumb topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (make these dairy free by using Earth’s Balance soy free sticks)

Directions:
Place rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 16 to 18 muffins, so prepare 2 muffin pans accordingly and set aside. total time including prep 30 minutes

Start with the crumb topping: whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Using a fork, stir in the melted butter until crumbs form breaking up any big pieces. Set aside.

Make the muffins: In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together until combined. Set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs and milk together until combined. If you are using raisins, add them at this time and mix in. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.

Using a 2 ½ in cookie scoop, scoop the batter into liners. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of crumbs evenly on top of the batter and ever so gently press them down into the batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes total or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I like to bake them for 10 minutes, then turn the pans and bake for another 10. After that I keep a close eye on them setting the timer for 2 minutes at a time. That’s what makes the difference between a moist muffin and one which is a little dryer. For mini muffins, bake for 11-13 minutes also at 350°F

Let cool in muffin pan and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if you would like.*I leave them out very lightly covered and suggest warming them in the toaster oven after day 2 (if they are still around). That will crisp up the top a bit and who doesn’t’ love a warm muffin?

**You may notice I use extra light olive oil, sunflower oil, or grape seed oil, in most of my baking when oil is called for. I think they are the perfect baking oils, and the healthiest. Any good vegetable oil would be a great sub.

***Different brands of pureed pumpkin will yield different results. I tried two others and felt Libby’s had the best flavor and end result. If you use a different brand, I can’t promise the same results so bake at your own risk!!!!!!!

Baked Apple Doughnuts with Spicy Cinnamon Sugar

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Baked apple doughnuts with cinnamon sugar is an oldie but a goodie so I’m replaying it! This recipe was originally published in October of 2015. I made them the other day and thought it’s a perfect recipe to replay for apple season and the holidays. Enjoy the rewind!

You guessed it… Another apple recipe! That basket on my kitchen counter is getting smaller by the day! This time it’s baked apple doughnuts with cinnamon sugar. Why baked doughnuts you ask? Because they are delicious – that’s why! When my family was at Lynd Fruit Farm a couple of weeks ago, their snack stand was open where they sell a variety of goodies. They make fresh kettle corn, roasted candied nuts, hot cider, funnel cakes, fresh doughnuts and apple fritters among other things. Usually we will buy one doughnut and one apple fritter and split it among the family, then go back for 2 more!

On this visit, it was Pumpkinpalooza day at the farm and to say it was extremely busy is an understatement! I guess the word palooza should give you an idea to the fun activities they had going on! In the urban dictionary palooza is defined as an all-out crazy party; partying at one place with a ton of people like there’s no tomorrow! It wasn’t quite that crazy, but the line was pretty long and we were tired from the couple of hours we just spent apple picking and shopping in the farm stand, so we went home. However, the sweet smell of the candied nuts, doughnuts and cider never left me and have been on my mind for the past couple of weeks.

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I love doughnuts, but I don’t like eating fried foods. I save that for times I want a really special treat. My search for a healthier doughnut lead me to this baked doughnut. I found it on the King Arthur Flour website and promise you won’t miss the extra calories frying would add! It tastes like an old-fashioned cake doughnut, which was my father’s favorite! This recipe uses 100% whole wheat flour, and apple sauce which makes a very tender and delicious cake style doughnut. I changed it up quite a bit due to the ingredients I had on hand (or didn’t have on hand in this case), and added more spices to it. Their recipe calls for orange juice and apple cider reduction which I didn’t have and they gave substitutions for. I always have small cans of pineapple juice in the house and it’s a wonderful sub for orange juice. I’m anxious to try the cider reduction one day, I think it will add great flavor to this already yummy treat!

I did try the maple glaze and while it was very good, it was too sweet for me. Instead, I went with a dusting of cinnamon sugar and my family agreed it was a winner. It is very close to the cinnamon sugar doughnuts they had at the farm-stand. This is an adapted version of the King Arthur Flour recipe. They came out fantastic, are quick to put together, and are a healthier doughnut, using white whole wheat pastry flour, very little oil and baking instead of frying. The only problem… they don’t last long – I can promise you that! Enjoy!

2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1  1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1  1/4 cups granulated sugar
1  1/8  cups plus applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons pineapple juice (or orange juice)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon**)

Glaze recipe (if you’re a glaze lover!)
1  1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup***
3/4 teaspoon maple extract
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons milk or heavy cream (enough to make a spreadable glaze)
Mix all the glaze ingredients together until smooth
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray two standard doughnut pans.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and ginger then set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined.

Spoon the batter in the doughnut pans, filling each one a little more than three quarters full. Some people use a pastry bag for this step. I was fine spooning the batter in the wells of the doughnut pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then take them out. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. While still warm, dip each doughnut into the cinnamon sugar to coat on both sides. Set on a wire rack to cool. If you’re glazing, allow the doughnuts to cool completely before spreading on the glaze.

This recipe yields 12 to 18 regular size doughnuts or 48 mini doughnuts

*White whole wheat flour is lighter in color and milder in flavor than 100% whole wheat flour with all of the same benefits. If you want to substitute all-purpose flour use 1  3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons.

**I use Vietnamese Cinnamon in all my baking. It’s strong, rich and has a sweet flavor I really like. It can be found in most groceries or specialty spice shops.SONY DSC