It’s been about 5 months since my last blog post and while I’d love to get into all the reasons why, I’ll save that for a more personal blog – or my memoir. Suffice to say that I did finish my externship and graduated from culinary school in October! To borrow from Mr. Dickens, it has been the best of times and worst of times.. but I’m back and hopefully to stay for longer :) .
If I learned anything at my externship it’s this: the food world is rough and unless you’re really committed you will not make it through. Aside from the obvious physical demands of being in a kitchen, there are people who will break you down, be it peers or chefs, just as there are those who will build you up – all of it to build skills but mostly character and you have to hold your own. You may enjoy cooking/baking, but it’s a different world out there than in your home kitchen. Not to discourage anyone, do it if you’re serious about it, I’m just being honest. I’m in it for the long haul, but a piece of cake – it ain’t!
Two more things to mention before I get into the recipe, I finally moved out of my house for the first time ever and am living in beautiful Astoria, NY! In December it will be 8 weeks since I moved and it has been quite liberating albeit a tad scary to be on my own. I’ve had lots more time to bake though (and my roommate sure doesn’t mind being the taste-tester!) and get back into blogging. Also, I finally secured my first actual job in a kitchen at a french bakery in Queens. My start date is two weeks away – right in the middle of Christmas holiday rush. I can’t wait to be bone-tired and learn all I can, and I am not being sarcastic. Onto pumpkins!
Pumpkin is probably my favorite of all the fall staples, so I often try to incorporate it as much into different recipes for the season. For those of you with a hearty appetite, or for people you know who have one, these pumpkin muffins are a GIANT treat! Being that the base is made using the creaming method, they come out with the soft consistency of little cakes that are tasty. Giant muffins, little pumpkin cakes.. either way you think of them they are delish!
Giant Pumpkin Muffins
Yield: 6 Giant Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 lrg eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 pound pure canned pumpkin (I use Libby’s)
1 tbsp salt
Streusel Topping (optional, as needed)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks very cold unsalted butter
Make streusel: Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the butter in cubes and cut into the dry ingredients using two knives or a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside in fridge until using. (This recipe will make more than you need, so wrap remainder tight in plastic wrap and it will hold in freezer for about a month!)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Using the creaming method, put the unsalted butter in a mixer with the sugar and beat on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes. If your butter is softened it won’t take as long, just be sure not to over mix.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated after each addition. Add the salt and pumpkin and beat for another minute until mixed in. On low speed, slowly add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture until they are combined.
Fill your muffin tin all the way to the top with the mix. Make sure you greased the top of the pan too because they will overflow. Normally a recipe tells you to stop 3/4 of the way – but we don’t want that here! We want gorgeous giant muffins, so to the top! Of course if you absolutely must you can use smaller pans and get more muffins out of this, but I’m telling you – giant is the way to go. If using the streusel topping, add it also.
Hope you enjoy these, it sure feels good to be blogging again. Oh and happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Love & Sweets,