Pumpkin Muffins with Brown Butter Glaze

Y'all, I don't wait for the leaves to fall and the air to turn crisp before I start making pumpkin goodies.  In fact, I started making pumpkin whoopie pies weeks ago.  Because you know what?  People are like me and they eat the stuff up no matter what the thermometer says.  It's delicious, so why wait?  I mean, unless you're waiting for your pumpkins to grow and ripen on the vine of course.  Otherwise grab a giant can of Libby's Pumpkin Purée and join me!

*These muffins are super moist, taste like pumpkin pie, and are great with or without glaze.  You can store them for a few days in a container (if they last that long!) and are perfect heated up in the microwave for just a few seconds.

Pumpkin Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes approx. 24 large standard muffins

-1 c. canola oil
-6 eggs
-3 c. granulated sugar
-3 c. pumpkin purée
-1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
-2 1/2 tsp. salt
-1 Tbsp. baking powder
-3 3/4 c. all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350º.  Line muffin tins with tulip parchment cups if you have them, I ordered mine on Amazon, but I've also found them at Krogers.  Otherwise, use standard cupcake liners.  If you do, the recipe will make more than 24-feel free to cut the recipe in half!

Beat together oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, & baking powder until smooth.  Slowly add flour and mix until flour is just blended in and no flour streaks remain.

For standard muffin liner, fill 3/4 full.  If you're using tulip cups like mine, fill to the top of muffin pan-the tulip cups support the extra rise.

Bake standard muffins for 20-25 minutes; ones in tulip cups 25-30 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean.

As muffins cool slightly make your glaze...

Brown Butter Cinnamon Glaze
adapted from Martha Stewart

-1 stick unsalted butter
-2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-2-4 Tbsp. heavy cream (can use whole milk or such)

Over medium heat, melt butter in a light colored pan on stove.  Butter will melt, bubble and foam.  Stir as sediment collects at bottom to prevent scorching.  After 5-10 minutes, sediment and butter will start to darken and give off a nutty aroma.  Remove from heat once medium-light in color.

Transfer butter and brown butter sediment to mixing bowl.  Add sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and whisk.  Slowly pour in heavy cream and whisk until you've reached your desired consistency.

Pour, scoop, or drizzle over warm muffins.  These would also be great brushed with butter and topped with cinnamon sugar.

Enjoy and join the rest of us pumpkin eating/drinking maniacs...

Found on a friend's Facebook.  Can't tell if he was poking fun at over zealous pumpkin lovers like myself.  Hmm.

Peach Cobbler

One of the biggest complaints about my baking amongst my family is that I never bake for them.  This accusation makes me feel somewhat guilty, but only because it is 100% true.  I can't remember the last time I made something solely for them to enjoy and not just some scraps or duds from something I whipped up for customers.  Maybe the last time was for one of the kids birthdays?  Surely?

Well, the spirit must have caught me today as I gazed at the peaches sitting on my counter.  I could almost hear them say, "We're going to go bad by tomorrow if you don't do something with us now.  Right NOW!"  Again, totally true.  I'm the worst when it comes to consuming fruit that isn't already washed and ready to eat.  However, I dragged these damn peaches all the way back home from Tennessee and I wasn't going to waste them because a.) they were very juicy and delicious and b.) being wasteful seems like bad karma.

I asked the husband if he wanted Peach Crisp or Peach Cobbler.  He said Crisp.  So here it is, Peach Cobbler! (Oh I'm an evil wife, but at least I made him something)

Fresh peaches!

Peach Cobbler
adapted from Slow Roasted Italian

-7 fresh peaches; peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/8ths
-1/4 c. sugar
-1/4 c. dark brown sugar
-1/2 tsp. apple pie spice (or blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mace)
-1 tsp. lemon zest
-1/2 tsp. almond extract
-1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Glazed with brown syrupy goodness and ready to bake!

Preheat oven to 400º (425º if using dark pan or glass).  In a large bowl, stir to combine all the ingredients.  Pour evenly into a 2 quart baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes.  While peaches bake, make the topping:

-2 c. all-purpose flour
-1/2 c. sugar
-1/2 c. dark brown sugar
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
-12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
-1/2 c. boiling water

-Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) for sprinkling

Cutting butter into small cubes makes it easier to work with.

 In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients with a fork.  Break up any large pieces of brown sugar.  Using a pastry blender or hands, cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly (like wet sand).  Sprinkle the water over the mixture and stir until just combined-no more flour streaks.  Using a ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop batter over the warm peaches.  Sprinkle generously with raw sugar and place in the oven.  Bake for an additional 30-35 minutes.

Using a cookie scoop creates an even layer on top.

*For ease of cleaning, put a foil lined baking sheet on the oven rack under the crisp to catch any juices that might boil over during baking.

Serve warm with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.  Or enjoy as is!

The darker topping is due in part to the dark brown sugar.  Feel free to use light brown sugar.

Mexican Mocha Biscotti

I recently found out that I'm allergic to a lot of things.  Pretty much all of the great outdoors are now trying to kill me, and when I seek shelter in my house, I now have dogs and dust to contend with.  Needless to say since the weather has broken, I've been miserable.  Getting through the day and doing the things I have to do is an accomplishment.  That is why dear reader, I'm finally posting this recipe today because look what Mother Nature has brought:

Sweet, sweet relief!  I'm going to get a million things done today!  You are on my priority list.

These Mexican Mocha Biscotti are the perfect accompaniment with tea and coffee of course, but the flavor combinations in them make these cookies irresistable and you'll keep nibbling long after you've finished your tea.

Mexican Mocha Biscotti

-1 1/2 c. A.P. flour
-1 Tbsp. espresso powder
-1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
-1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp.
-1 c. sugar
-2 large eggs
-2/3 c. chopped pecans, toasted
-2/3 c. mini chocolate chips
-2/3 c. cinnamon chips

Toast pecans in a skillet on the stove top over medium-low heat.  Tossing occasionally to prevent scorching.  Toast until nuts darken some and give off a warm, nutty aroma.  Remove from heat and place in a separate bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking powder, cinnamon, & salt.  Add the cornmeal and whisk again.  Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes-until smooth.  Add the eggs one at a time, and continue to beat.  Stop occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl down.  Beat for 2 minutes.

Turn mixer to low and slowly add dry ingredients.  Mix only until just incorporated.  Scrape down the bowl, then toss in nuts, cinnamon, and chocolate chips.  Mix on low until just blended into dough.

Separate dough in half and place each half onto the prepared baking sheet.  Using your hands, mold into logs that are 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.  Bake dough for 30 minutes.

Transfer dough to a cooling rack and cool logs for 20-25 minutes (you may turn off your oven, just don't forget to turn it back on!).  Transfer cooled logs to a cutting board and cut 3/4 inch thick slices.  Place slices cut side up onto baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.  Cool to room temperature.  Then, enjoy!