Monday, September 15, 2014

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Is it too early for pumpkin everything?

It's technically almost autumn, although here in San Diego the weather doesn't seem to have gotten that memo.  It has been ridiculously hot and humid these past few days.  Temperatures in the nineties, humidity that makes it pretty much unbearable to be outside after 9:00 A.M. or so.  (Unless you're in a swimming pool, which is where we spent a good chunk of our morning.)  And we, unfortunately, currently live in an apartment without central air.  And it's a "reduce your use" day, according to SDG&E, so I can't even sit in front of our little A/C unit all day in good conscience.  Sigh.

Thankfully, we got our baking out of the way early this morning.  We *always* get up early; Little Bug rarely sleeps in past 6 these days.  (What am I talking about??  I don't know that he's ever reliably slept in...)  And since we were expecting company, baking some treats seemed like a good plan.

Actually, baking yummy treats is ALWAYS a good plan.  Company or not.  Just sayin'.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

1 cup flour
¾ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ - ½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons applesauce

Preheat oven to 425° F.

In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.  (The spice isn't especially strong in these muffins, so if you like a stronger spice flavor you might consider adding a full teaspoon of pumpkin spice or even more.  Or, of course, feel free to create your own blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, etc., in whatever proportions please you!)

In a smaller bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, and applesauce.  (Note that I like at least a little bit of oil in my baked goods; I am generally not a fan of the texture of muffins that have no fat at all.  That being said, if that doesn't bother you, these would probably be pretty tasty with extra applesauce subbed in for that last bit of oil, if you so desire.)  Add to dry ingredients and mix until just blended; lumps are fine, and it's okay if there are occasional patches of dry ingredients.  Pour into a prepared muffin tin.

Bake 13-14 minutes, until muffins are golden on top and a toothpick or knife inserted into one comes out clean.

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