Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins with Cookie Butter Frosting

Here we are already a week into October and I have yet to post a recipe! I feel as if we have been cooking and baking more than ever but the hustle and bustle of the past week has rendered me a sleepy bag of bones by the time I have a quiet moment to blog. However, I can assure you that as soon as I flipped the calendar over to October, the mass baking of pumpkin-themed treats began. I have crossed off no fewer than six treats from my pumpkin list...and we are only a week into October. I may be a bit obsessed.

Luckily, my little Matthew also loves all things pumpkin. I have been stirring pumpkin into his oatmeal every morning and he has been loving it. First thing he asks for when he wakes up in the morning is for a hot bowl of the "orange oatmeal." I'm more than happy to oblige. Who am I to refuse if my child asks for a vegetable along with his breakfast?

As I have mentioned before, Matthew is obsessed with making muffins. He loves helping divide the batter among the little cups and then watching them bake. However, I think his favorite part about muffins is the cute little size. He seems almost overwhelmed by the fact that he gets to eat his own perfectly formed little cake. Normally, when I hand him one to eat, he dances around a bit while admiring the "cute little muffin cake" before finally taking a bite. This treasuring of the muffin gets a bit annoying because he has been known to wax poetic about it without actually eating for upwards of an hour. At times I want to yell: "I get it Matthew! The muffin is cute! It's little! It's a cake! EAT IT NOW!" It's a lesson in patience.

This batch of pumpkin muffins was the first thing we made with our freshly purchased hoard of canned pumpkin. We basically took my Mom's pumpkin bread recipe and evenly distributed it among muffin tins instead of baking it into loaves. The result is a deliciously moist, warmly spiced batch of muffins that are perfect with a cup of tea on a cold day. And the smell of these baking will fill your house with the aroma of pumpkin spice better than one of those expensive Yankee candles. I highly recommend making the frosting. Our family is obsessed with the cookie butter from Trader Joe's and we have talked about how the gingerbread flavors in the cookie butter would pair perfectly with pumpkin. I threw together the frosting on a whim and was very happy to discover that it complements the spices in the pumpkin bread SO WELL. It was very difficult not to eat the frosting by itself with a is incredibly addicting. If you do not live near a Trader Joe's, you can find Biscoff Spread near the peanut butter in most large grocery stores. It's basically the same thing.

Pumpkin Muffins with Cookie Butter Frosting
bread recipe from my Mom

Note: This recipe makes a approximately 30 muffins or 2 large loaves of bread.

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a couple 12-cup muffin tins or line with paper muffin wrappers.

In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, vanilla water and sugar until well blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and ginger. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then dump in the pumpkin mixture. Stir just until blended and no dry bits of flour remain. Spoon into prepared muffin tins.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven (mine took closer to 25 minutes, but start checking at 20). The muffins are done when they spring back when lightly touched in the center. Be careful not to overbake. Let cool 5 minutes in tin before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, frost with cookie butter frosting.

Cookie Butter Frosting

1/2 cup cookie butter (or Biscoff spread)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2-4 tablespoons milk, to taste
1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more to correct consistency
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Place the cookie butter, softened butter, 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a bowl. Whip together with a spoon until everything is combined and creamy, shiny, and smooth. Mix in the vanilla and add more powdered sugar until it is a thick, spreadable consistency.

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