Monday, December 19, 2011

Maple Pumpkin Muffins

It's the 19th of December and the wind is howling outside the boat bringing tidings of a cold front and the announcement of Winter's arrival.  Inside, the boat smells of fresh brewed coffee and maple pumpkin muffins in the oven.  We have absolutely no where to go, I've had a fantastic night's sleep in the V-berth, I have a cookie-baking date with my three grandkids later today, and let's face it folks it just doesn't get much better than this. 

Part of cooking while cruising or living aboard is learning to make due with the ingredients you have on hand.  There's usually no quick trip down the street to the grocery store.  When I got up this morning I wanted pumpkin muffins and after searching the net for a new recipe and looking in the boat pantry (which is pretty empty this time of year due to removing the freezable stuff),  I came up with this modified recipe. 

Maple Pumpkin Muffins
1-1/2 C. Flour (I used the white that I had but you could use whole wheat pastry flour or 1/2 and 1/2)
2 Pkg of Instant Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 egg, beaten
2 TBL Vegetable Oil
6 TBL Maple Syrup (preferably real but I only had pancake syrup)
2 TBL Hot Buttered Rum Mix (see below for the recipe)
1 tsp Vanilla

1 C. Canned Pumpkin
1/2 C. Skim Milk (you could use evaporated or powdered milk reconstituted)
1/2 C. Chopped walnuts, or raisins, or dates, or any combination (optional)
Streusel Topping (optional):  Mix one envelope of instant maple flavored oatmeal, one TBL of cold butter and a tsp of cinnamon together well.  Keeps well in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease the bottoms only of a 12-cup muffin pan.


Mix the dry ingredients together well with a whisk.


Mix the wet ingredients together.  In these pictures I put the Hot Buttered Rum mix in the dry ingredients, but it was difficult to mix it in so the next time I will mix it into the wet ingredients until it is completely incorporated.


Mix the two together just until dry ingredients are completely incorporated and divide evenly into muffin pan.



Top with optional streusel mix and bake for 18-22 mins depending on your oven.



If you're making these in a boat oven you will need to rotate hem in the
middle of the baking time, but be careful in your handling of the pan so they don't collapse.  Cool on a rack for 5 minutes and enjoy with a hot steaming cup of coffee.  Makes 12 nice-sized muffins.

Hot Buttered Rum Mix
1-1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 tsp of each of the following:
   Ground Cloves
   Allspice
   Nutmeg
   Cinnamon
Zest of one orange or 2 tsp dried orange peel mixed with 2 TBL water
Mix all well and place in an airtight container.  Keeps for a long time on the shelf in cool weather or you can store it in the refrigerator.  Use a heaping teaspoon in a bottom of a mug with a jigger of rum.  Mix well and fill the mug with boiling water.  Great for cool evenings in the cockpit.  Also great for seasoning many recipes, including cut up sweet potatoes, pancakes, muffins, etc.  Use your imagination. A steaming mug of this goes well with the maple pumpkin muffins by the way...

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