I need to apologize upfront. I am about the brag about a recipe and not provide it. Because if I gave my mother-in-law’s pumpkin muffin recipe away to the entire internet, I would no longer be invited to Thanksgiving, which would be awkward as it’s at our house this year.
But back to the muffins. One of the things I dorkily enjoy about farming is better understanding why we eat what we eat. The most obvious example is zucchini bread. Anyone who has ever grown even one squash plant is intimately familiar with the need to find different ways to consume that insanely prolific vegetable. Pumpkin bakes goods come from the same origin, but with a slightly different twist. With zucchini, you walk outside and find yourself with twenty pounds of veg that needs to be consumed or preserved within the next 48 hour lest it overgrow to the point of inedibility or rot in the fridge. Pumpkins lack that urgency, but their very longevity results in the same desire for variety. If you were living in a time before chest freezers and January hit, marking your third straight month subsisting on pumpkins as your soul vegetable until the fresh greens of spring, you’d want an arsenal of recipes, too.
Enter pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin beer (ok, so that one has a different motivation, but is still born of the same bounty) and my personal favorite, pumpkin muffins. A few days before I made this batch, we’d had a dinner party and mashed pumpkin was one of the sides. I doubled up on the number of squash we needed to roast to feed our crowd with the hopes of having two cups left over. Sure, it means my muffins had a bit of black pepper quality to them, but they were still delicious.
The other magic of pumpkin muffins is that they stay moist for days! And they easily convert to a decadent dessert if you slice them in half, plop on a pat of butter, set under the broiler until the edges are just a little toasty and top with some kind of vanilla dairy something or other (I often just use straight cream, but whipped cream or ice cream definitely solidify this as dessert and not breakfast).
These are hands down my favorite muffin/quick bread. And if not for the existence of chocolate chip cookies, they may have won as all time favorite baked good.