Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cupkins: Jack-O-Lantern Muffins

Who says muffins have to be unadorned!

It's the first Monday of the month and time for another inst
allment of Cupkins, a collaboration between Joanne at Ready, Set, Craft! and I.

October's ingredient is pumpkin and to me that almost always means Halloween, so I went right to Jack-o-lanterns.

My pumpkin muffins are easy to make. You'll need:

1.5 cups of flour
3/4 cups of sugar
dash of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
About 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (basically I use 1/2 a teaspoon and a dash)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling, just straight pumpkin)
1/2 cup of applesauce
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup (or more if you like) of chopped walnuts or pecans
6 pecan halves
Yellow frosting
1/2 0z of chocolate (milk, dark, or white chocolate that's been colored green your choice)
Orange food coloring.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray your muffin pans with non-stick spray or use muffin liners. This will make 6 large muffins or 12 regular sized muffins.

Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice together in a bowl. Then add the the applesauce, egg, oil and milk. Stir just until ingredients are combined (don't overwork or the muffins will be tough). Next add pumpkin and chopped nuts, and one to two drops of orange food coloring mix until combined.

Scoop an even amount of batter into each muffin cup. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and muffins are nicely golden on top.

Next comes the fun part... decorating them. I used yellow frosting that comes in a tube (with a decorator tip on the end) to make some jack-0-lantern faces.

Some are happy and some are scary, but I think all of them are cute!

I thought they felt a bit incomplete so I used pecan halves for stems. Melt the chocolate and dip one end of the pecan, then stuck it into the top of the muffin. The chocolate acts as a really yummy glue to hold it the "stems" in place. I used milk chocolate on half and white chocolate colored green on the other half. I don't really like the taste of white chocolate but thought the green looked nicer.

Just a few notes: I added the orange food coloring because I wanted a slightly enhanced but still natural orange color- you could skip this all together or play it up even more... you're choice! I used chopped walnuts in the muffins but pecans for the stems because that's what I had, if you want to just buy one type of nut buy the pecan halves and chop them up for inside the muffin batter.

Be sure to check out Joanne's October Cupkins recipe today by clicking the Cupkins logo below. And if any of you have tried one of our recipes we'd love to hear from you!

Check out my September Cupkin- Apple Cider Muffins here!


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