What started out as a well-intentioned quick batch of muffins, ideally ready before Mike woke up Sunday morning, turned into an all-morning affair 3 dozen times over. I remembered making some delicious pumpkin muffins last fall, but couldn’t remember where that recipe had disappeared to (perhaps it was on my phone before it was factory reset…). So it was off to Pinterest to drum up another pumpkin muffin recipe. I found an intriguing recipe for pumpkin banana muffins – since we happened to have a few bananas that were riper than Mike would usually eat, I decided that recipe would kill two birds with one stone. Thankfully, I keep some pumpkin spice and canned pumpkin in our pantry year-round, so whenever the baking bug strikes in the chillier months – I’m ready to whip up a batch of pumpkin something without a trip to the grocery store (If I were reading this aloud to Mike, he would say “mmmm, I love pumpkin something”).
Side note: one of my random pet peeves while baking is using too big a mixing bowl for the job. I know it’s not the end of the world, but the bigger ones are more cumbersome to clean/take up more space in the dishwasher (if I use the glass ones they’re dishwasher friendly). So when this recipe called for a “large” mixing bowl for the dry ingredients, I scanned the dry ingredient quantities and decided that the medium mixing bowl (#3 out of 5 in the set) would be just fine.
After tossing in the flour, I added 2 Tbsp of baking powder and 1 Tbsp of baking soda. Next came the remaining contents of the pumpkin spice, just about 2 tsp. Hold the phone, tsp… teaspoon. That’s what was written in the ingredients list next to the baking powder AND the baking soda – not Tbsp. Shoot.
I immediately went to my phone to look up if this was an oversight that could be ignored (like adding too many chocolate chips – definitely not a problem). Unfortunately, what I gleaned from the internet was that too much baking powder would make my muffins taste bitter, and too much baking soda would make them taste soapy. Mmmmm, bitter soapy muffins. The graphic designer in me immediately went into problem solving mode. I could scrap the whole thing… but that would waste the last of the pumpkin spice. Or, I could just figure out how many times over I’d need to make the recipe to accommodate the excess ingredients. Three. I really hoped that this recipe would be worth the three dozen muffins I was about to make.
Unfortunately, I could not get to the grocery store and back before Mike woke up, so there were no muffins for him prior to his Sunday morning basketball game. I only needed a few more bananas, some pumpkin spice, more apple sauce (so I would have some left over after the triple batch to bring with me for lunch during the week) and some more brown sugar. I picked up a larger-than-normal container of pumpkin spice… and a few extra cans of pumpkin for good measure… and some milk chocolate chips (the writer of the pin mentioned that chocolate chips were a lovely addition to the recipe).
After getting all of the dry ingredients successfully mixed in my medium bowl, I threw them into the KitchenAid mixer’s bowl so that they’d be ready for the wet ingredients to be added while the mixer was running. I decided to save on dirty dishes I’d use that same medium bowl for the wet ingredients. After all, if all of those dry ingredients fit – the wet ones should fit as well (to be fair, I decided to use the medium bowl back when I was making a single batch…) I’ll digress from the bowl for a moment to talk about the cans of pumpkin, but rest assured, we’ll be back to this topic.
I know how to use a can opener, I swear. But for some reason I just could not get our new-ish can opener to work properly (Mike and I broke our last one back in the Wilson house and had quite an evening trying to get into some closed cans containing part of our dinner ingredients). Even though the can opener wouldn’t budge, it did make a small slit in the side of the can. I figured that maybe a serrated knife would finish the job (Andrea and Kathy, don’t worry, for this experiment I didn’t use any of the good quality knives that you ladies bought us). It only took a few strokes of the knife to decide that that wasn’t a solid plan. Back to the drawing board. I found an old, somewhat rusty, old-school can opener (I’m not sure how that didn’t get thrown away when Helene was helping us figure out what kitchen supplies we needed doubles of and which ones we could toss/donate). I thought about trying to use the can opener part of it, but I didn’t want rust touching my canned pumpkins. Then I had an idea, I could use the not rusty ‘key hole’ portion and make little triangle holes around the perimeter of the can, and then remove the top from there. About 5 holes in I learned that the can will not hold up to any additional holes. I used a teaspoon to scoop out the contents of the can – careful to avoid the 5 sharp teeth that I’d created in the lid.
This definitely slowed down the muffin-making process. After the cans were emptied, and the rest of the liquid ingredients were added to the mashed bananas, that medium-sized mixing bowl looked something like this:
I had to mix very carefully to keep the contents of the bowl actually inside the bowl. I’m not going to lie though, I was pretty proud of myself for successfully mixing all of those ingredients in that size bowl and not having to wash a larger bowl, I believe my exact words were: nailed it!
Things were pretty much smooth sailing from there. The wet and dry ingredients were mixed together, three muffin tins were filled and moved to the oven, and most importantly, the result was delicious.
I made one dozen without chocolate chips and the other two dozen with chocolate chips. The consensus has been that both ways taste great. Personally, I’d probably continue to add chocolate chips, but that’s just because why wouldn’t you add chocolate chips to muffins whenever possible?! I’d definitely recommend this recipe. The sugar content isn’t terrible and everything else is actually pretty healthy as baking ingredients go, especially if you do happen to use whole wheat flour per the recipe.
A few notes if you decide to make this recipe (in the link at the top of this blog entry)
• I used regular flour instead of whole wheat because that’s what I had in my pantry
• The muffins will be very moist – but that’s really not an issue since there are no eggs in the batter, also who likes rock hard muffins, gross.
• I used 2 whole cans of pumpkin for the triple recipe since I didn’t want to have half a can of pumpkin laying around the house.
• I used 1 whole bag of milk chocolate chips for two dozen muffins