I love the Fall. The weather has finally started to cool down and thoughts of comfort foods are filling the air. This was the frame of mind I was in when I picked up my mom’s handwritten cookbook the other day and found this recipe that I had long forgotten about. These Pumpkin Nut Muffins had filled our home with a spicy, nutty aroma that brought everyone to the kitchen. And the reward? A deliciously satisfying muffin spiced with pumpkin goodness that embraces you like a warm hug on a cool day.
So, yes I was making these childhood favorites.
My mom’s recipe didn’t disappoint. These pumpkin nut muffins are exactly like they were when she made them for me as a young child … filled with hearty pumpkin flavors and yummy cinnamon-clove-nutmeg spices, with crunchy pecan moments and sweetened with plump raisin bites. Delicious? Yes, like a warm hug on a cool day. Thanks, mom!
Five Great Pumpkin Facts:
- Pumpkin carving came from a Celtic tradition of carving turnips. The Irish brought this fun treat to America, where they found pumpkins galore and transitioned their carving tradition to this plump orange fruit.
- Oh, yes … pumpkins are a fruit even though we often treat them as vegetables in our cooking (it has seeds).
- Cooking with pumpkins are fun! Pumpkins are high in Vitamin A, potassium and fiber. So, yes they are also good for you!
- In early days … you know, ‘back in the day’ … people knew how good they were for them, too. Pumpkins were used to cure freckles and snake bites. What?!
- Pumpkins made a great television debut on Oct. 27, 1966 when It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first aired. I was a young girl and I remember watching it. That also was ‘back in the day’ when (with three tv channels) television specials were an event and everyone sat around the tube and watched them … at the time they came on because there was also no DVR. Gasp!
Pumpkin Nut Muffins
Start with some pumpkin puree. I used canned pumpkin and a little goes a long way. Even with a small can you will have some left over … which means, more yummy pumpkin recipes to follow! Just look at the lovely orange pumpkinny color.
In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and your yummy pumpkin spices … cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. These will enhance the pumpkin flavors nicely. Once the dry ingredients are all whisked together, add the pumpkin mixture and stir until everything is blended together.
Prepare a muffin pan by spraying with cooking spray. Fill each cup about 2/3 full with the pumpkin mixture. Now, take some of the reserved pecans and sprinkle on top of each muffin. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes. The muffins are done when the top center spring back when touching.
Tip: Placing some reserved nuts on top of the muffins before baking gives you a nice nutty top. The muffin on the left did not have any nuts placed on top before baking, while the muffin on the right did. They both taste the same, but the nutty top gives this muffin some pizzazz, don’t you think?
Serve with hot tea, coffee or a cold glass of milk and take in the rich and hearty flavors of fall with each bite.
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree (I used canned)
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped pecans, plus a few reserved
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Add in the pumpkin and stir until well blended.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well blended.
- Add the raisins and pecans and stir.
- Lightly grease (or spray) a muffin pan and fill each cup about ⅔ full with the pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle some reserved nuts on top of each muffin.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and done.