Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkinocalypse 2013: The Bakering: Pumpkin Chai Muffins

Muffin Mondays used to be a cherished part of my work week because I got to eat healthy fake cupcakes while letting staff meeting fade away to the background of non-tasty noise. Due to some sort of weird plague or other act of god, my grocery store was all out of pumpkin on Sunday forcing me to postpone Pumpkinocalypse (and thus Muffin Monday) to Tuesday. I had come too far (and purchased all of the other necessary ingredients) to let that stop me. I would combine my two favorite lattes into one delicious (and way less fattening than a latte) muffin- the fabled Pumpkin Chai!

Pumpkin Chai Muffins
Adapted from Squidoo
Servings: 24 muffins
Time: 35 minutes

Now how do I froth it?
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking poder
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp white pepper
4 tbsp instant tea powder (unsweetened)
1 cup butter
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, ginger, orange zest, white pepper and instant tea together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and let cool.
  4. Beat the vanilla yogurt, vanilla, eggs, pumpkin and sugar in with the melted butter until smooth.
  5. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients using a stand mixer at low speed until just incorporated (be careful not to overmix).
  6. Fill lined muffin tins 2/3 full with batter.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the toothpick test comes back clean.
  8. Remove the muffins from the tin and let cool on wire racks. 
  9. Eat with a very mellow, low on flavor drink to counteract being bombarded by amazing spices.
Must resist the urge to frost... Slowly get back into baking..
Now these muffins packed a powerful punch. Whereas my earlier Pumpkin Cookie Cake truly highlighted all that is good and pumpkin in the world, these muffins brought forth a whole lot of spicy punch. This felt like autumn in convenient bite-sized form. All the fantastic chai spices really hit you with a gentle backing from the moist pumpkin and an intriguing finish from the white pepper (seriously, the white pepper seems out of place, but it's awesome). I definitely recommend a nice glass of silk to balance out this super breakfast.

After making these delightfully tasty treats, I did think of a few possible ways to improve them (aside from saying "healthiness be damned" and making them a cupcake). Adding walnuts or golden raisins could definitely add another dimension and some texture to these. Similarly, the pop of biting into freshly chopped ginger would also help elevate things to a whole new level.
Oh, that's right. I forgot all this baking makes my kitchen really messy. Oh, well. That sounds like a problem for future Terry. He's a sucker.
It felt great to be back to destroying my kitchen (it really was freaky seeing it so clean). Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go feverishly apologize to my stand mixer for our rough patch.

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