It’s the very first school night of the year at our house; maybe it is at your place, too. Some moms I know are celebrating – the happiest ones seem to be the mothers of grade school kids. My teens and t’ween are kinda low maintenance these days, so I’m bummed to have school and homework back in our lives. But some dads I know aren’t too sad — one of my guy friends said this past weekend, “Why would you be depressed about school starting again? They need to go use their brains so they don’t live off me for the rest of their lives!” That made me laugh. I s’pose that’s one way of looking at things.
Even if alarm clocks and homework and projects are still a little ways off for the punks in your life, sooner or later, you’re going to have to start thinking about what to feed people for a proper school day breakfast. You might also be looking for ideas of things to pack for snacks, or what to have waiting when hungry people straggle in from a hard day studying and then spending long hours on the sports field.
This week, because I’m in need of some inspiration myself, I’m taking on breakfast. My kids are huge fans of pumpkin anything, and these muffins are killer with a capital K. Homemade muffins are cheap, cheap, cheap to make and I can nearly guarantee you already have 90% of these ingredients sitting in your pantry and fridge. These muffins freeze well, transport easily, and as an added bonus, they also look really pretty stacked in a glass-domed cake stand. : ) Have a great week.
PUMPKIN SPICE MUFFINS
Yields: about 20 medium muffins
SOURCE: finecooking.com; recipe by Kathleen Stewart
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (Wallaby Low Fat Greek Yogurt or Dannon Yogurt are on sale)
3 cups pumpkin purée (canned is fine)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 sticks (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. ground ginger
Pinch white pepper
1-1/2 cups golden raisins (optional; I left them out but sometimes I swap in mini chocolate chips)
Heat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream or yogurt, pumpkin purée, brown sugar, sugar, and butter. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until just mixed. Gently fold in the raisins. Grease and flour a muffin tin (or line it with muffin papers, preferably foil). Scoop about 1/2 cup batter into each tin so that the curve of the batter is even with the rim of the cup. (Refrigerate any extra batter in an airtight container for up to a week.) Bake the muffins in the middle of the oven until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into them comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin when they’re cool enough to handle.