Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Maple Muffins

Time's a wasting! Join Tuesdays with Dorie baking club before October 31st, or you'll miss your sugary chance. Each week, we make fabulous treats on the cheap. Hurry on over!

Fall is my favorite time for a Saturday Adventure. I capitalize this term on purpose because it's such a grand idea that it deserves to be a proper noun. When we moved to our little southwest town from upstate New York, our notion of the Fall Saturday Adventure had to adjust a little. For one thing, a pumpkin patch-a real true pumpkin patch- was not easily found. After some inquiry, a local yokel informed us that the nearest thing to a pumpkin patch was 40 miles away in an even smaller town. A pumpkin growing farmer puts the gourds out on his front lawn with a lockbox on a card table. On the honor system, you pick out your pumpkin and cram some crumpled ones into the too-small slot. This sophisticated market system simply isn't used in Los Angeles, where I grew up. It sounded like the perfect Saturday Adventure to me; even if we didn't get a pumpkin it was worth it to see virtuous people handling a loaded cashbox. And so it has been for the last four years in a row. Each October we've headed off to someone else's front lawn in somebody else's hometown to buy somebody else's home-grown pumpkin on the marvelous honor system. This year, I woke up early and slipped a batch of freshly baked whole wheat pumpkin muffins whole wheat, perfumed with maple and studded with sunflower seeds, into a basket to take along. If there is any way to make an October Saturday Adventure even more ideal, it's with these fall flavored muffins. And this year, as the icing on the cake, during our drive home the sky sifted down gentle drifts of powdered sugar snow. It melted just hours later, but it was a good reminder that the holidays are coming soon, and muffins like these are not only good for Saturday Adventures but also for Holiday Breakfasts. Another capital notion!
Money Saving Tips: Maple extract is a HUGE money saver. You can make pancake syrup by boiling together sugar and water and flavoring it with maple extract. It's not as good as maple syrup, but for a child's frozen waffle, it does the trick. Also, maple extract makes a great frosting since the flavor is stronger than real maple syrup. Be sure to freeze any leftover pumpkins in 1/2 cup portions in zip top baggies. Sunflower seeds can be pricey, so use whatever nuts you've got available.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Maple Muffins
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan
Estimated Cost: $2.00 for six muffins
Notes: These are even better with a little maple butter. Stir together equal parts butter and maple syrup.
1 cup whole wheat flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons buttermilk or milk
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, plus more for top (or other nut)
Grease a six cup muffin tin. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, powder, soda, cinnamon and ginger. In a separate medium bowl, cream butter and both sugars. Add the egg and beat well. Stir in vanilla and maple extracts. Mix in pumpkin and buttermilk. Very gently, fold in dry ingredients. Stir in seeds. Divide batter between muffin cups. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in muffin tins for five minutes. Remove from muffin tins and serve warm
Coming Tomorrow:
Sweet Red Pepper and Ginger Penne with Feta

92 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Definitely a good companion on a Saturday Adventure. Neat idea about using maple extract - I should pick some up. Maple butter on these sounds wonderful too.

Debinhawaii said...

You know my pumpkin feelings but these actually look good and your kids are just so adorable!

Suzie said...

What a fantastic Saturday adventure! Wish we had something similar around here, although we would neeed to do it in April. Can't wait to see what becomes of your pumpkin.

VeggieGirl said...

Such a LOVELY Saturday adventure!! And super-lovely muffins ;0)

Audrey said...

It's nice to meet your little pumpkins (although I know they would hate to be called that!) Your muffins look perfect, and I can't wait to make maple butter (yum).

gigi said...

What a wonerful hearty treat for a fun Saturday adventure. And SNOW, man are yall lucky to have the white powder topping on an already great day. I love those kinds of Saturdays instead of the cleaning kind. Such cute children you have.

Cathy said...

"Saturday Adventure" most definitely needs to be capitalized (and maybe even copyrighted?) The front lawn pumpkin patch with lockbox is exactly why I love small towns. You just don't find that in big cities (as you noted) or even in the 'burbs, where I live. Your muffins look fabulous, and I am sure that they added just the right touch of Fall to your Saturday Adventure. As usual, your variations and additions are brilliant, Prudy!

Marthe said...

Looks amazing!! Thanks for the tip on the maple extract, I wish I could try it, but no maple extract available on this side of the ocean unfortunately....

Jamie said...

Such lovely pics! Sounds like you had a blast!

Amanda said...

Snow already? I haven't had enough Autumn yet, no snow! LOL We had snow the day before Thanksgiving last year and it didn't go away until after April.

We live in a rural town in WI so those carts with money boxes are commonplace here. We bought our pumpkins the same way, from a cart attached to the farmer's tractor. ;)

Your muffins look divine as all your goodies always do :) I really liked this recipe, I added chocolate chips to mine, substituting the nuts. A definitely keeper, one I will be making again!

Tanji said...

Your little charges are so darn cute! It's fun to see their pictures and know a little about their personalities. :) How's that Spooky Hallway? Also a proper noun.

RecipeGirl said...

Boy did those rise up nicely! I love it when muffins do what they're supposed to do. These sound delicious. Good maple tips!

Marie said...

Ohh Erin, I love the idea of using whole wheat flour in these. I adored these muffins. I wanted to make a bread pudding with the leftovers, but now will have to bake them again so that I can! (yep, NONE leftover! I'm so bad!) I love your two sweeties! They look like they are having a ball! I can't believe you have snow already! WOW!

Prudy said...

Oh, Tanji. I could only handle the Spooky Hallway for a few days. Then Consternation and Crazed Frustration replaced Patience and Kindness. Also proper nouns. The Spooky Hallway has been relocated to the courtyard under the Quiet Man's supervision.

HoneyB said...

I have tried so hard to find maple extract on the store shelves but all I come across lately is the spot where it is supposed to be!

Where I am, we are really used to seeing the honor system - we have an abundance of Amish farmers and they have their little stands all over the place!

Aggie said...

I will definitely have to try these little guys out! Thanks for making them a whole wheat version!

Your kids are adorable...and what a fun Saturday adventure!

Christy@MercyEveryMorning said...

These look great! And snow already? ....wow! I bet the kids loved it. :) They are adorable.

chocolatechic said...

I *almost* put maple in mine, but I thought with the addition of chocolate in mine, the maple might not be so good.

Patsyk said...

I love your Saturday Adventure! We haven't gone pumpkin picking yet... seems the squirrels in our neighborhood have been eating everyone's pumpkins! So, we are holding off just a tiny bit longer.

The muffins look perfect for fall!

Kirsten said...

That is funny you now have to drive so far to get pumpkins. Living in New England there's a patch every 2 miles! Your muffins look great.

Kayte said...

Fantastic photos...oh, and the food looks good, too...LOL...love the kids' photos, so cute! Your muffins look wonderful...liked seeing that your muffin pan looks like mine (well used and loved)...it makes us all seem like friends here, doesn't it? We have no secrets from one another if we are willing to show our muffin pans up close and in living color! Thanks for the syrup tip!

Darius T. Williams said...

Thso are really some great looking muffins!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

I love that they're whole wheat. What cuties!

Lauren said...

maple extract is a great idea- I've never really thought of using it, always assuming maple syrup is a better ingredient. thanks for the tip!

Mary Ann said...

All I have to say is that your kids have the best mom ever! Not only a trip to the Pumpkin Patch, but with homemade muffins in tow? Talk about adorable kids! I love what you have done with these muffins, but I always love what you do with your food. They look great and thanks to you, I subbed half whole wheat flour. You are an inspiration Prudy!

Allie said...

These sound delicious. Your kids are lucky to have a mom like you with all your homemade goodies in tow.

Maria said...

A great to go breakfast for an adventure! The muffins look hearty and delicious. Cute kiddies too!

Kimberly Johnson said...

Thanks for sharing the maple extract tip! Your pumpkin muffins look fabulous!

Di said...

Maple flavoring sounds like a great addition. I only did half whole wheat in mine, and they were quite tasty. I love the snow picture. Gillian has never seen snow, and Brianna doesn't remember it (the last time it snowed here at our house she was only about a year old). I do miss it a bit.

Candy said...

What fun! And snow, too cool. Love the maple idea.

Peggy said...

Oh I can't believe you have a snow dusting already! Reminds me of my year in Cleveland Ohio. We do not get much snow here in the south. I love maple butter and that sounds just delicious on these muffins. And I miss going to the pumpkin patch every year for Halloween. Treasure those times with those beautiful kids. They grow so fast!

anudivya said...

Waking up early on a Saturday and making these muffins? That is so sweet of you. I barely can seem to get around to cooking lunch and dinner on a weekend. I am so making this one of these days...

Marjie said...

I'm a fan of maple extract, and a fan of muffins. Great Tuesday item!

And are your kidlets sitting in snow?

Pam said...

This is a perfect muffin. I am really excited to make these - my kids are loving pumpkin right now.

Jodie said...

Ooh, good call on the whole wheat. I'll have to try that. Your kids are adorable!

Anne said...

Your daughter is so beautiful Erin! I love the story about the lock box and the pumpkins. Great changes on the muffins, too- I'll definitely try maple next time.

Dawn said...

What a perfect family outing. Snow huh? Very pretty but too soon for me.
These muffins look so good and I love that smell of maple syrup cooking.

n.o.e said...

What a fun adventure - and those little ones are entirely TOO CUTE!!! Love the whole wheat flour in these, and they sound like the perfect take along for your outing.
Nancy

Mary said...

What a beautiful family. Your children take the cake!

Leslie said...

Your Saturday Adventures sound like a lot of fun.
Roy and I went to the pumpkin patch with Laurie and her girls, and we stayed for 6 hours.
We should have brought some of your muffins along.
They look so good.
I saw a commment about The Spooky Hallway.
I take it your kids have been decorating.
You'll have to write about that next time.

kim said...

they look sooo good! i love the maple flavoring, too -- perfect! :) your saturday adventure sounds like so much fun!

Sara said...

I love these muffins. They look so good. I have got to try them. I just love reading your blog everyday. You have got a way with your words. What a fun Saturday Adventure, and very cute kiddos!

Satisfying my Sweet Tooth said...

What a fun family activity! I didn't know there were still honest people in the world so that lifts my spirits. Your muffins look great. I'm going to try the maple idea. I actually love homemade maple syrup!

pinkstripes said...

I can't believed it snowed already. I'll have to look for maple extract. It sounds delicious. Your pumpkin muffins look great! Yum!

jessbcuz said...

I had the same idea about adding a little maple and using whole wheat flour! I just have to say though, that what I love best about giving my kids real maple syrup on their waffles is that it is packed with vitamins... but then I won't touch anything but the real stuff-- blame my mom who lived in Vermont as a girl. I also blame her for my love of butter and milk too--(her dad was a dairy farmer for 1/2 his life).

Pamela said...

Thanks for sharing your family adventure. It sounds like fun and I think the snow is certainly pretty. Your muffins turned out really lovely, too. All of the sunflower seeds on top look wonderful.

Emily said...

I love pumpkin muffins! Those are definitely going on my weekend baking list for this week.

You have such a great blog! I found it a few weeks ago while looking for a good hamburger bun recipe, and while I haven't had a chance to make them yet I've copied out almost all of the recipes you've posted to try. And I did make the salsa, corn, and bean soup last week and everyone loved it.

Natashya said...

Love the maple addition! Great idea. We have pumpkin patches not too far from us. I like to take the kids and make them go on wagon rides with me and the little kids. (They are a little horrified as they are teenagers.)

Laura said...

Love the idea of adding maple flavor to these! Another stroke of genius - I'm definitely making these again and I'm definitely adding maple.

Your kids are beautiful and look like they're enjoying picking out those pumpkins!

Melissa said...

I love picking out pumpkins - great pictures with the kids! Your muffins look yummy, I bet everyone really enjoyed them!

wileyfamilyof5 said...

Another great way to freeze pumpkin or any squash is to put in muffin tins freeze, then pop out little portions and put in bag to put back in freezer.

Emily said...

What a fun Saturday! Picking pumpkins is always a blast! and snow!!! Isn't the weather crazy! I remember the few times it snowed in HS and the schools closed! We'd go sledding on the golf courses in the morning and the snow would be gone by late afternoon!

PS yes I LOVE "Wait Until Dark!" Stop your heart stuff!

casaamiga said...

First time I’ve commented, but been reading your blog for some time. I absolutely enjoy it.

Your Saturday Adventure looks like a lot of fun. We had our very own Saturday adventure (not searching for pumpkins though) a couple of weeks ago, which took us over 4 hours to get to, but it was definitely worth it. The muffins look delicious.

Question: Is it less expensive to make your own pumpkin puree? When time is of the essences I think the can stuff would do. But pumpkins are everywhere right now, so I'm going to start pureeing, if it’s worth it.

Flourchild said...

Great looking pumpkin muffins..your kids are darling too!

The Blonde Duck said...

I want a muffin. And snow. And a pumpkin. Sniffle. Snuffle. WUFFLE!!!

Sailor looks darling in her red coat, by the way.

I don't get a pumpkin this year (le sigh.) Ben's daddy had a heart attack this weekend and the surgery had been moved a gazillion times. Now it's on Halloween (such brilliant doctors in Shreveport. Apparantly they're not as supersititious as me. ) Anyway, we're driving down there to support him during the quad by-pass. My mom's going to hand out the candy at my house.

The Blonde Duck said...

I want a muffin. And snow. And a pumpkin. Sniffle. Snuffle. WUFFLE!!!

Sailor looks darling in her red coat, by the way.

I don't get a pumpkin this year (le sigh.) Ben's daddy had a heart attack this weekend and the surgery had been moved a gazillion times. Now it's on Halloween (such brilliant doctors in Shreveport. Apparantly they're not as supersititious as me. ) Anyway, we're driving down there to support him during the quad by-pass. My mom's going to hand out the candy at my house.

Karen said...

I love the way you changed up the recipe! Looks delicious and I love the money saving tip in there!

Amy said...

These looks GREAT!! Your kids are SO cute!!

Beth said...

These muffins look awesome - and the kiddies so cute!!!

CECIL said...

I love anything pumpkin but just never make it on my own often. Old song, but my host family used to send batches batches of this to me when I still live in KY. Can't wait to see more pumpkin recipes! :)

MK and Co. said...

Do your kids know how lucky they are?! Not only a great adventure but a basket of warm delicious muffins to accompany them on it! These sound and look perfect for fall. Do I have to wait for Saturday to make them? I hope not!

Lucy said...

Wonderful memories that last a lifetime are made w/fun filled days as "Saturday Adventures" and these muffins make it all that much memorable.. beautiful ;-)

Esi said...

Snow?! I can't even wrap my mind around the concept. It has been a very very very long time since I have seen it. Looks like you had a wonderful Saturday Adventure.

Prudy said...

Casaamiga:
It is less expensive to make your own puree, however the pumpkins that are everywhere are not the right kind. They are grown for size not taste. You would have to buy sugar pumpkins which are much smaller, around 3 pounds. I have made puree, but truthfully it tastes so very much like the canned puree, plus it's quite a bit of work. I may give it a go again soon, since it's been a while, but in the meantime the canned stuff works great. Welcome! Thanks for commenting.

vibi said...

Dear Prudence... (wink)
I must first say, you have beautiful children! ...and I loved the details of your Saturday adventure!
Now I understand better the worth of making great food on a short penny... for those smiling pumkin faces!
Great muffins! I too used maple (although the real stuff) and it was quite a nice combination.

Coby said...

What a lovely family tradition! You sure know how to celebrate and create beautiful memories Prudy:) The muffins do seem to be the perfect partner to the 'Saturday Adventure'!

Veronica said...

We have a farmstand here in our town that uses the honor system this time of year...I love that it's here and reinforces the notion that most people are good honest people. Your muffins look divine and your children adorable!

Michelle said...

beautiful as always...i love the maple syrup idea. i'll have to try it out!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Wholewheat Pumpkin Muffins look excellent - I'm going to try your adapted recipe. Your description of small town and country living is so vivid as you relate buying the pumpkins and the honor system.

TeaLady said...

Prudy, what great ideas. Always enjoy your site. Great job on the muffins. Is that snow I see in the background. Lucky devil, you. Thanks for all the great tips. BTW what do you teach? Just curious. Also a college prof here.

lusciousfood.com said...

wow. yeah, the muffins are great, but THOSE KIDS! they're so beautiful.

Sharon said...

Your kids are so cute! Thanks for the tip about maple extract. I always have vanilla on hand, but never maple. I think I need to go get some for my fall baking!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Mmmm. Maple extract - I need to see if I can find some. Maybe it would have rescued my muffins. Glancing at your adaptation, I think your tweaks to the flour, baking powder and spices (and everything else!) would make for a fabulous muffin.

Leslie said...

Love the muffins!
You gotta love people who still are so trusting of others to still use the honor system!Thanks for the congrats on my TV spots!

CB said...

That is so interesting about the maple extract! Learn something new everyday. Your pumpkin muffins look awesome. Great job!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Proud Italian Cook said...

Good tips about maple and maple extract. I need to get some! BTW, Your children are beautiful!!

AmyRuth said...

Ah Erin aka Prudy, You have such an amazing following. Truly a blessing to have so many blog friends. Your maple extract variation is awesome. I noticed you reduced the amount of pumpkin. That way you can make lots more muffins, right? I am going to try the whole wheat flour method next. Sounds like a healthful idea.
You have precious children and lucky they are to have such an amazing adventure leader! Yumm
AmyRuth
Muffins look Amazing!

The Food Librarian said...

Your kids are just too cute! These sound perfect and what a fall weekend! (It's going to be 90 degrees in Los Angeles tomorrow - remember our Fall? :)

Grace said...

oh, glorious maple. tis a flavor that could only improve an already-glorious muffin. :)

hot garlic said...

I don't know exactly where you live, but it did sound like the kind of town that would have it's own pumpkin patch! Hilarious about the other patch 40 miles away with the card table. They used to have those in the town where I grew up, we used to buy donuts from one. I doubt that town has seen anything of the like the last 15 years. Amazing how it changes. I just saw pumpkins here, they imported them in for the holiday, which isn't generally celebrated here, and thus they are $15-$20 a piece. I think we'll be doing jap or grey pumpkins this year in lieu...

The muffins look great, great tips and ideas. I've never actually succumbed to the maple extract, one of these days!

SiHaN said...

brilliant idea! and those pretty pumpkins in a row.. i've never quite seen anything like that before! thank you!

kittymama said...

What a sweet story and I love the idea of adding maple to these!

Cristine said...

YUM! I'll have to try these with maple butter!

Emily Rose said...

Great idea about adding the maple flavor- pumpkin and maple are a dynamite combo! I'm also glad to see how well it worked with whole wheat flour- I will definitely sub some in for ap flour next time I make these- gotta get those whole grains in wherever you can!

Dee said...

Saturday Adventure sounds almost as good as those muffins! I've never seen a pumpking patch out of a Charlie Brown strip, and I'm betting I never will :(

I seriously think we need to get out of the house a little more. We attempted a Back To Nature Saturday, but that got nixed after our first trial. We spent our last weekend making Halloween gruesomes.

Michal said...

why do i doubt that your kidlets ever partake of frozen waffles? these look great and i love the pictures of your darling charges.

Liz said...

Love the idea of maple butter! I ate mine plain (because they had chocolate chips and that seemed sinful enough as is) but next time I make them, maple butter it is.

Marthe said...

Your kids look so cute by the way! The tortilla soup tasted great and was not too expensive either :)

mikky said...

muffins look great, but i love the kids more... they are so adorable... :)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I love your tradition of heading out to buy a pumpkin. We like to do that too, but thankfully only have to drive 15 minutes. But I would drive 40 miles if need be. You're so organized too to bring along a basket of muffins! I'm in awe.

Ingrid said...

Hi,
Did you buy your maple extract at the grocery store or perhaps during the holidays when there is a larger selection of baking necessities? I can't find any where I am located. Online , maybe?
Thanks!
~ingrid

LyB said...

Your muffins look fabulous. I love the orange background in the first pic. :)