Sunday, October 16, 2011

Muffin, Anyone?

    Around our house, nothing says autumn better than pumpkin treats. Our favorite muffins, pie, bread, even waffles and pancakes are made with pumpkin and traditional pumpkin pie spices. Sometimes, there's even one or two left over to share! 
     This variation of the box-in-a-bag pattern provides a great gift package to share one jumbo muffin with a special friend. The box is cut with an acetate covered window so the recipient can admire the beauty of muffin perfection and wistfully anticipate the fragrant yumminess until the moment finally arrives when it can be opened and savored. Mmmm. I also slip the muffin into a separate plastic bag before placing it in the gift bag/box, but it isn't necessary. I just like to regift my bags and boxes sometimes, so the inside bag will keep any moisture or oils from ruining the package. It measures 4" square on the bottom and 6" tall; just right for one jumbo muffin. 
     Instructions for a basic Box in a Bag can be found here:

Materials: K&Company Tim Coffey Fall paper, Bazzil Basics parchment colored paper, clear acetate, Spellbinders Labels 4 for the window and closure tab. Ribbon and ink from my stash.

Here's the recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Jumbo Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.
Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.
Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about 3/4 full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes; then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

***Sometimes it's fun to add about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter before filling the muffin cups.

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