16 October 2009

Pumpkin Mini Muffins

The sudden heat wave is sucking the energy right out of me, so I haven't been in the best of moods for cooking anything, much less bake. But bake I did, because thoughts of cooler weather got me thinking about pumpkins, in turn producing a massive urge to do something about those sugar pumpkins sitting on the kitchen counter. I quickly searched for a method of cooking pumpkin so that I could have fresh pumpkin puree at the ready...not that I had any particular creation in mind yet. There's plenty of puree, believe me--I did bake both pumpkins, against my better judgment--so some of it is destined for the freezer.

But what to do with the fresh stuff in the meantime? Another few clicks led me to a recipe for what looked like iced mini muffins, called Yumkins by their creator. This being a lazy, summer-like afternoon, I was attracted by the recipe's simplicity as well as lack of oil or other fat, so despite having to summon the use of my oven yet again on this bloody hot afternoon, I gave the recipe a shot.

I made some adjustments, because I worried that the recipe as-is would result in something bland due to the lack of spices typically found in other pumpkin recipes. So I added a bit of cinnamon, ginger, and clove. I also added a bit of ground flax seed for extra nuttiness and texture, substituted pecans for the walnuts--I always have the former and rarely the latter--and added half a cup more pumpkin puree than called for. As for the icing, which called for non-vegan cream cheese, I opted for a vegan alternative. It also happened to be both frugal and lazy, because I basically retrieved leftover vegan cream cheese frosting from a recent cupcake project and added orange zest and juice. I only iced about half of the nearly three dozen mini muffins made; the icing adds a bright, fruity sweetness, but the Yumkins are perfectly fine plain. Yes, they are indeed yummy, as the title suggests. I might just try the recipe properly in the future, to see if it still holds up to its name.

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