pumpkin chocolate chip muffin with eggnog maple glaze
i don’t usually go in for the sugary-sweet, myriad flavored or, as Nigella would say, twee. The pumpkin quick bread batter, however, made far more than anticipated so the overflow went into a mini-muffin tin. Thank providence there has arrived a second mini-muffin tin to the radical muffin kitchen, because, have mercy, there was still more of that batter. More-mini muffins, even itty-bittier than the first.
frankly, i over-baked the teeny things, so to make amends I glazed them with what happened to be handy: maple cream and eggnog.
evoking a text from angela of acupuncture (my downstairs neighbor upon whom I foist so many baked goods her three year old thoroughly associates me with cookies): that was amazing…would love the recipe for those pumpkin maple muffins. Ridiculous!!
So here is the recipe:
cream together a softened stick of butter with a cup of sugar; to achieve ridiculousness, try turbinado sugar that’s been stored with a split vanilla bean. Blend in roasted pumpkin, about two cups. I busted out the electric hand mixer for this because my pumpkin was stringy like spaghetti squash and needed to be really whipped into the creamed fat and sugar.
care bear gummy in a star cookie
our sweet pumpkins arrived to squat on the steps under the looming giant glittered fake flowers, wired to the stair rails and strung with cobwebs, leading up to our apartment door for Halloween. They only offered up their autumnal aesthetics for a few days, because I promised the shop-keep I would cook these particular pie-pumpkins, as he chastised me these were “not for carving.”
to roast a small pumpkin, slice it in half and scrape out the seeds and fibrous pulp with a spoon. Leaving a few seeds to cook with the pumpkin to join it later in the bread keeps it real. Sit the halves, hollows up, on a parchment paper lined baking tray, and pour in a few slugs of good olive oil, turning the squash to coat the orange flesh. Add sea salt and a grinding of pepper. We also added saffron threads. Roast in a hot oven, 375°, for half an hour (more or less, depending on size and stove) until a fork easily pierces through its flesh. Flip the halves over about three quarters of the way through cooking. When thoroughly roasted, let them cool then scrape the flesh right out of the shell into, well, whatever you’re going to use it for. We had three pumpkins, and only one went into this bread and muffin extravaganza.
returning to the batter: scrape half a vanilla bean into the pumpkin etc. Beat in three eggs. Stir in three cups of flour total, adding about ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk in with the last cup, graham flour following two cups of all purpose. A dash of salt; ½ a teaspoon each baking powder and soda.
pour to fill a lined and buttered loaf pan a generous halfway. Add a cup of small chocolate chips, these were from Caluccio’s Italian grocery, to the remaining batter. Then fill (so it turns out) two mini-muffin tins. I lined them with papers but ended up peeling the papers off before glazing so might as well grease the pan and do without the papers to begin with.
fit it all strategically into a 350° oven and bake, pulling the muffins out at about 9-12 minutes then the loaf half an hour after that. Free from their respective pans to a rack to cool before glazing.
the glaze: cream two cups powdered sugar with one tablespoon of butter and two of maple cream. Admittedly, maple cream is an odd thing to have on hand outside of Vermont; all butter will do. Work in about ½ a cup of maple syrup and enough eggnog to make a glaze the consistency of good melted chocolate. Dip those wee muffins head first, let them dry, and dunk again. Let drip dry right side up on a rack.
the loaf doesn’t really want a glaze, being dense and damp as it is, but mini-muffins dry out quicker and appreciate a sugar shellac. Give them away lest you eat them all and go into sugar shock.