I love breakfast, truly. Most mornings my breakfast is some combination of bread and fruit, and every once in a while I get a craving for oatmeal (also with fruit). I usually wake up hungry and eat as soon as the coffee is ready. David, on the other hand, takes a while before he’s ready for breakfast, and when the semester is in full swing he likes to be able to grab something to eat on the go before he teaches his first class. All fall and winter I’ve been making pumpkin bread, but I wanted to do something different with the pumpkin I had, so I went for a hearty muffin. Not too sweet, packed full with nuts and dates. I added carrots as well, and the only thing I wish I had done differently was to make the muffins bigger!
6 tbls cold unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour (you could also substitute part of the flour with whole wheat or other flour for an even heartier muffin)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk, since I still had some from making cornbread the other day)
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 carrots, grated
1/2 cup dates, chopped
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400º and prepare a muffin pan (either by greasing with butter or filling with cups)
- Stir dry ingredients in a large bowl
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg
- Cut the butter into the flour, working quickly so the butter is well coated but before it starts to melt (as when making pie crusts)
- Add the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing very gently until everything has just come together – be careful not to overmix, or the dough will get too tough
- Fold in the pumpkin, carrots, dates, and walnuts
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cups – I made about 16 muffins this time, but after they were baked, I realized I wanted them to be larger, so next time I’ll fill only one muffin tin to make 12.
- Bake 20 – 30 minutes. Partway through, I lowered the temperature to 350º, since the tops were starting to brown too quickly.