The beauty of pressing publish on a creative endeavor before getting interru… “Mom!” “Hey, Mel.” “Muh, muh,” says the littlest one, which we’re pretty sure is her effort at saying “more” not “mom.” …Is such a luxury these days. As is the ability to archive the perseverating thoughts that come with chasing down an idea, even an idea as simple as a recipe for Browned Butter Pumpkin Muffins.
Developing a recipe, designing a room, writing a post—they all fall into the creative side of my brain, the only semi-functioning side, and take hostage until completed. But the hostage situation is a bit unique right now with everyone working and schooling and day caring from home, releasing me every 10-30 minutes. Because Linnie woke up early from her nap and Hallie’s computer won’t start and it’s lunchtime and Linnie needs a bottle and the fridge is empty again and the batteries just died in my keyboard and the internet isn’t working and the jammies are all dirty and oh my gosh, it’s dinnertime again. Not dinnertime!
Now where was I? Pumpkin Muffins? Writing a post? I can’t remember where I was going with that thought… Backspace, backspace, backspace. And the next thing you know, I’m retesting the almost-published Browned Butter Pumpkin Muffins, just after hobbling together a dinner. Again. “I think it could use a little less liquid.” And, “Let’s test these at 350°, 375°, and 400°,” I said as if I had plenty of time.
Finishing a thought. Uninterrupted time to test a recipe. Pressing publish. Ahhhh, those are luxuries these days. These days, I keep reminding myself, that are just a season, maybe the strangest, longest season of them all thanks to COVID. It’s also the season of pumpkin, so somehow Browned Butter Pumpkin Muffins had to squeeze their way in.
And they did after my friend texted me a couple of weeks ago for a pumpkin muffin recipe. I didn’t have one, but I told her to turn this pumpkin bread into muffins, as if I knew what I was talking about. Well Jenn, I owe you a cup of flour and an apology. That recipe didn’t turn into great muffins, at least not the kind of muffins I prefer. A slightly weighty muffin with a tight crumb. You know, the kind of muffin with a crumble and a mountain top. Filled with flavor and just enough sweetness. The kind that’s best made the night before because everyone does better with an overnight rest.
That’s the kind of Browned Butter Pumpkin Muffins we ended up with after 50 million tries and too many backspaces and lots of little interruptions. I’m pressing publish before Linnie wakes up or I change my mind… Talk soon!
These Browned Butter Pumpkin Muffins are best when made the night before and stored overnight in an airtight container. The overnight rest yields a slightly weighty moist muffin with a tight crumb. And the extra full muffin tins yield a lovely muffin top. Note: This small-ish batch easily doubles or triples to your liking.
Make the brown sugar crumble. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and set aside for now. No need to get our hands messy just yet.
Make the muffins. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat until melted and golden brown, swirling occasionally to keep from burning. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Into the semi-cooled butter, whisk in the sugars to help quickly cool the butter. Next whisk in the pumpkin purée, egg, yogurt, and extract until evenly combined. (See for additional guidance on pumpkin purée thickness.)
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir together until just combined, no more. Line a muffin tin with liners and evenly divide the batter amongst the 7 liners. In order to create a muffin top, they will be quite full. Mix together the crumble between your fingers and evenly sprinkle over the muffins. Then, sprinkle several pepitas over each muffin if desired.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until the center springs back with a gentle tap or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a couple minutes before finishing cooling on a cooling rack. Once cooled, store in a covered container overnight. By morning, the crispy-out-of-the-oven top will have softened to perfection.
Not all pumpkin purées are created equal. Freshly puréed pumpkin tends to be wetter compared to the canned variety, though the canned varieties can also vary quite. This recipe was tested with fresh pumpkin. See above picture for pumpkin consistency. If your pumpkin is not as wet and quite thick, you may need to add an extra tablespoon of milk or yogurt to the recipe.
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