and, last but not least, I guess we can’t forget about this (attending a destination wedding in Puerto Rico):
Yesterday, we had a morning playdate at our house for the first time in ages, so I did my best to come up with a yummy seasonal treat that would appeal to five tired mommas and seven busy toddlers (including one with a nut allergy). It was a particularly tall order because our pantry is looking rather bare, mainly because I’ve spent the last six weeks doing things like this (5 days in Napa Valley):
and this (devising semi-homemade family halloween costumes. If its not obvious (probably not), we were a beekeeper, a gardener, a lily (duh) and a bee):
The point is, its been a pretty busy couple of months and all of this fun has severely handicapped my pantry-stocking time of late. So, there I was yesterday trying to make muffins out of whatever was lying around. Lucky for me, that included a can of pumpkin, a brick of cream cheese and two frozen egg whites–btw, I strongly recommend freezing leftover egg whites or yolks whenever you make a recipe that calls for one but not the other…the leftovers can be super useful in a pinch down the road. So anyway, we ended up with pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting. The dozen I made were consummately devoured (Lilly had two and would have easily devoured a third if I left things up to her).
Upon serving these “muffins,” I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the addition frosting means these are actually cupcakes. Since they’re made with both pumpkin and oatmeal and have a moist, hardy texture they still seem quite firmly rooted in the muffin category to me, but they’re easy to make and tasty to eat no matter what you want to call them.
Pumpkin Oat Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 egg whites (or 1 egg)
3/4 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, oats and spices in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients and stir just until mixed. Drop batter by even spoonfuls into a lined muffin tin and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 brick of cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape frosting into a zip-top plastic bag. Seal the bag and snip one corner using scissors. Pipe frosting onto cooled muffins. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon if desired.