Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffins

I know. Enough with the Pumpkin Spice Latte already. It’s sooooo mainstream.

Maybe the PSL is too trendy to be cool, but I no longer care! Just hear me out. There will be good muffins in the end.

Because, you see, I’m quite certain that pumpkin and the lovely blend of spices that compliments it so well made it into muffins together long before they made it into coffee together. If a hefty dose of espresso powder comes along for the ride, since, oh, I don’t know, people like coffee with their muffins and muffins with their coffee, I can’t be called a hack because I let it happen.

I suppose that’s open to debate, but these muffins are really delicious nonetheless. I won’t say they taste like a commercially available pumpkin spice latte beverage, because they aren’t quite as sweet. What they are, however, is a good blend of pumpkin, the dusty, nutty bitterness of espresso, and plenty of potent spice. I like this homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice blend, but use whatever you like or have time for. In fact, having only cinnamon in cupboard will get you satisfactory muffins.

It’s really not too late in the season to still enjoy the flavors of pumpkin and spices and coffee together. In fact, these muffins might be a great transitional treat as we head into winter (there’s snow on the ground as I’m typing this, so denial is out of the question), since their dark spiciness and slightly dense texture reminded me a bit of gingerbread. I plan on using whatever maneuvers I can to keep making and eating these. Even if it makes me look like I’m trying to be trendy.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffins

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned is good
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line them with paper liners.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat, or in the microwave if you prefer. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat just until the milk begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from the heat and whisk in the instant espresso. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and Pumpkin Pie Spice. Whisk together to combine well.

5. In another medium-size bowl, whisk the egg and the cooled melted butter together. Whisk in the milk mixture. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Pour into the flour mixture and stir just until there are no dry spots in the batter.

6. Portion the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400 F for about 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into a muffin comes out free of wet batter. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely (or until cool enough to eat, anyway.)

Makes 12 muffins

One year ago: Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

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