Pumpkin Muffins

Once a month, pastry chef and food Network personality Anna Olson hosts a Bake Off. She picks a recipe that participants recreate for a chance to win a KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer and an autographed copy of her latest cookbook: Back to Baking. This month’s pick showcases one of fall’s most popular flavours: pumpkin muffins.

Last May, Anna travelled to Montreal for an event at the culinary bookstore Appetite for Books. The bookstore owner is a chef himself and invites culinary authors to do demos in the open kitchen at the back of the store. If you attend the event, you get a glass of wine and enjoy a dégustation, as well as meet the author and get an autographed copy of their new release. Anna baked a few desserts for us from Back to Baking (which is a really nice book, by the way. So far, every recipe I’ve tried turned out pretty well). She was so friendly and just as sweet as on her show.

For those of you who are looking for healthy treats, this is perfect. These tender spiced muffins are low in fat and they make for some tasty snacks. Pumpkin puree adds a natural sweetness to baked goods and is high in fibre. It is also loaded with vitamins.

Unlike the zucchini in the chocolate cupcakes I made recently, the pumpkin in these muffins makes its presence known. It is the star ingredient with a strong flavour.

Bon appétit!

Recipe adapted from Back to Baking

Yields 12 portions

1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 ½ cups pure pumpkin puree
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1) Preheat the oven to 375F and place 12 cupcake liners in a muffin tin. I omitted the liners and simply greased the pan.
2) Mix the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice in a large bowl and set aside.
3) Whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg whites, and vegetable oil in another bowl.
4) Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour bowl and stir until blended.
5) Scoop the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Do not refrigerate.

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