People gets excited at the beginning of fall season, because they can now order pumpkin spice latte. I usually don't do that on purpose; if I was in the vicinity of Starbucks and it's a convenient time for me to buy it then I'll buy it. Most likely I'll forget to buy it when it's in season. But don't get me wrong, I love pumpkin in baked goods. My husband and son aren't crazy for pumpkins though, especially in form of pumpkin pie; but if I made it into muffins, pancakes, or cakes, they'll be happy to eat it.
This week I made these muffins and also pumpkin pancakes. The muffins were all gone but I had the pancakes in the freezer for the weekend. I didn't use canned pumpkin since I had pulp from homegrown kabocha and blue kuri that my parents grew. I had them baked until soft so the flesh can be scraped easily. I think steaming it works too, I've just never tried it.
These muffins are great for after school snacks or even for after dinner desserts. I'm very fond of crystallized ginger and to add tiny morsels of those on top of the muffins is a brilliant idea.
Chocolate-Glazed Ginger-Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 16 muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chocolate Glaze--recipe below
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line sixteen muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside.
In a small bowl stir together the pumpkin, melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened (batter should be lumpy). Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Remove muffins from muffin cups; cool completely on a wire rack.
Dip the tops of the muffins into the Chocolate Glaze, allowing excess glaze to drip off. Place dipped muffins upright on the wire rack. Sprinkle tops of muffins with chopped crystallized ginger. Let stand about 30 minutes or until glaze sets.
In a medium saucepan heat 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and, if desired, 1 tablespoon orange-flavor liqueur over medium-high heat just until boiling. Remove from heat. Add 6 ounces chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. Do not stir. Let stand for 5 minutes; stir until smooth.
To store: Place muffins in a single layer in an airtight container. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Baking