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There’s a chill in the air and “warm and cozy” is what I crave. The aroma of fresh-baked goods and a pot of garlicky beans are comforting. And we all increasingly need comfort these days. There is a certain madness going on in the world – a madness I had never hoped to see play out again. But as I said in my previous post, we still need to eat and sustain our energy for whatever is coming our way. Pumpkin Protein Muffins come with all of the flavors associated with fall in a package that also happens to be healthy.
Lumpy and bumpy with dried cranberries and toasted pecans, I look forward to eating Pumpkin Protein Muffins with a good cup of coffee each morning. These are a riff on my Banana Protein Muffins and Apple Protein Muffins (they appear in the same post as the Banana Protein Muffins). Each muffin is a mini-cake – only better.
Normally, I absolutely hate recipes (Ina Garten, I mean you!) that only use a partial can of something or a teaspoon of some obscure ingredient. However, while you will have some left-over pumpkin puree from this recipe, I use mine up in vegetable or meat stews and chilis. It adds creaminess and a very subtle depth of flavor.
The state of the world is leaving me bereft of words, so I’ll just go right into the recipe. The muffins should keep for about 5 days well covered. However, they also freeze beautifully.
Yield: 12 standard size muffins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup lightly pan-toasted and coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar (I like to use dark brown sugar but light is fine)
1 Tablespoon unsulphured molasses
1 rounded teaspoon sweet hawaij or pumpkin seasoning
2 Tablespoons peanut butter powder
1 cup natural ground almonds or almond flour
3/4 cup of blanched almond flour
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly (I prefer refined coconut oil, but virgin coconut oil also works
Heat the oven to 400° and line the wells of a standard muffin tin with parchment paper or foil muffin cups or spray well with a vegetable spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flours, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, peanut butter powder and protein powder. Add in the dried cranberries and lightly pan-toasted and coarsely chopped pecans. Mix through. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, add in the melted coconut oil, brown sugar and eggs and whisk everything well to combine. Then add in the pumpkin puree and molasses and continue mixing until there are no lumps and everything is well incorporated.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix through thoroughly but only until everything is just combined. Do not over-mix. You will have a fairly thick batter.
Using a cookie scoop or spoon, fill the muffin cups almost to the top.
Bake for 5 minutes at 400° F then reduce the heat to 375°F . Bake for another 5 minutes. If your oven is like mine, I turn my baking pan around at this point and continue baking at 375 degrees F for another 10 or 11 minutes. (Total baking time is about 20 minutes. Ovens vary.) The tops should spring back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Now enjoy!