Fall and pumpkins go hand in hand, so kick off the season with these delectable muffins. They are soft and tender, mildly spiced, and topped with candied pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, adding a nice element of crunch. They are oversized, but it may be hard to eat only one.
3/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
Line a small tray with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the egg white and sugar, then add the pepitas. Spread onto the tray and leave uncovered to dry overnight . On a humid day, this can take 24 hours.
Next day, break apart into separate pieces.
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 T. light or dark molasses
3/4 c. fresh orange juice
1-16 oz. can pumpkin puree
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. Kosher salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
makes 12 large muffins
350F pre-heated oven
Spray, or butter a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
In mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy. On low speed add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in orange juice and pumpkin, beating until combined.
It will look curdled like this.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then gently fold in the egg mixture only till combined. The batter can be made ahead to this point, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days, if you wish.
Fill the prepared muffin cups with the batter to the rim. Sprinkle evenly with the candied pepitas.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes until tops are golden brown and the centers spring back when pressed. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove from the pan.
Recipe adapted from Flour Bakery by Joanne Chang