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Pumpkin & Orange Muffins

Pumpkin & Orange Muffins

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Once autumn arrives, it's easy to be inundated with so many delicious looking pumpkin recipes. Cupcakes, pancakes, scones, donuts, pasta sauce, you name it! How can you begin to differentiate the truly amazing ones from the average? Try them all! Well, if that doesn't seem feasible, be sure to rave about the memorable things you do try.

That's why I decided to share these Pumpkin & Orange Muffins! I originally saw it made as a bread and was really intrigued by the flavor combination. So I tweaked it a bit, adding some of my favorite "fall spices", but kept it essentially the same. I couldn't be happier and really don't know if I'll ever make another pumpkin muffin recipe again. Light and cake-like, but not too sweet; perfumed with bright orange zest, warm nutmeg and spicy cardamom... this is a welcome upgrade to a worthy classic!

So this is my seasonal gift to you: a delicious breakfast treat or snack that you can make, knowing it really is exceptional. I prefer the individual muffin form, making it easy to pack into lunch boxes or share with friends. So bake off a batch and surprise someone today! When that teacher/ neighbor/ coworker/ friend thanks you profusely, tell them to spread the word... "this is a GREAT pumpkin recipe"! 

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8  teaspoons ground cardamom
  • zest and juice of 1 orange (blood orange or navel orange, juice should be approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup) 
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 10 ounces canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 stick melted butter, cooled slightly  
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line muffin tins with papers and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, baking powder and spices. Whisk and set aside.

In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, orange juice, zest, vanilla and cooled melted butter. Once the wet ingredients are combined, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the pumpkin mixture in it. With a silicone or wooden spoon, mix together the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated. Don't overmix.  

Using a large ice cream scoop, evenly distribute the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for approximately 15 to 17 minutes per batch. You'll know they are done when it is dry and slightly "springy" to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for five minutes before removing each muffin and letting cool completely on a cooling grid. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.  

Yield 18 muffins. 

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