There were so many fantastic entries, the most ever for the Bake-Off (we had to create two galleries to fit all of your submissions!). It must have been the thought of those wonderful fragrances that the baking muffins that inspired you! As always, I liked the creative additions and adaptations - chocolate chips seemed to be a good way to get dubious kids to eat their pumpkin, and the frosting additions definitely transported these to the category of cupcakes.
I'd like to offer a few shout-outs to those who made an impression: Amy & Parise (hello to my neighbourhood gals); Cindy - who converted her husband to loving pumpkin with this recipe; Ella - who helped make her Grandma feel better by baking for her; Geneveene - for making a great gluten-free version and Katina - who took inspiration from a trip to Sweden, using cardamom.
For the prize of the mixer: Gabriela Klimes
Your story of visiting a pumpkin farm and then making these muffins with your 2-year-old sous chef was charming, and your photos truly show the effort you put into this month's challenge. I like the addition of the toasted pumpkin seeds for that added crunch!
For the cookbook winner: Alana F
I can tell you have a great sense of adventure when it comes to baking and you had some great ideas for shaping and decorating your muffins, making them far from ordinary! By the photo of the muffins I can tell you are inspired by Halloween - what are you dressing as this year?
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 ½ cups pure pumpkin puree
2/3 cup packed demerara or dark brown sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with large paper liners.
2. Stir the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg whites and vegetable oil.
4. Pour the liquids into the dry mixture and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 20 minutes before removing from the tin.
The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen. Do not refrigerate.
Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network's Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!
by Anna Olson