This fall, most of my baking has been for my cottage bakery. But there's been one notable exception: pumpkin muffins.
Minnesota's rules for cottage food producers are quite specific, requiring that products have a pH of 4.6 or below or water activity of 0.85 or less. Basically, these requirements ensure that cottage foods are shelf-stable and won't grow bacteria that could make people sick. That means that there are certain ingredients (including pumpkin) that I can't use in baked goods that I offer for sale, because they would be too moist to meet the water activity requirement.
However, I can make all the pumpkin muffins I want for personal consumption, and I've spent the past month honing my recipe for my ideal extra-moist pumpkin muffin. I used my mini pumpkin muffin recipe as a starting point, and then I tweaked the oven temperature and baking time. The resulting muffins are much denser and moister than a typical muffin—the texture is more akin to pumpkin bread baked into tiny muffin-shaped loaves. Since the muffins are so dense, they tend to settle a bit as they cool.
If you don't have pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg for the same flavor.
Yield: about 11 muffins
- 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper or silicon liners.
In a medium bowl, mix the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, and canola oil until smooth. Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix just until moistened.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or scoop, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
Bake until the tops of the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 22-24 minutes.
Remove muffins from tins and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
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