in which my husband bakes something

pumpkin muffins.

it’s not the first time, and i’m certain that it won’t be the last, but my husband baked something this weekend! he’s perfectly competent in the kitchen (provided that there is a recipe), but i’m perhaps happier being a type A personality and getting my hands (and dishes) dirty. my husband, for what it is worth, bakes banana bread at regular intervals, makes pasta and pizza dough quite successfully, and has on occasion made my birthday cake. but, he often stays towards the safe recipes. the recipes that i have made, and made mistakes with, and have a foolproof relationship with. not the ones that i have never, ever touched.

so, this weekend, in light of the ridiculous amount of bust that we had going on, and the general stress of finding a job AND an apartment at the same time (yeah. i don’t recommend this. especially if you’re looking out of city for work.), my better half didn’t ask “can i help?” but rather “what can i do?” and for that my type A self was truly grateful.

the recipe originates from joanne chang’s book, flour. while at dinner with friends on friday, one raved about all the things she had made from the book. which, is only kind of ridiculous because she had made about twice the number of recipes that i had made. it’s worth noting, as well, that the batter for these muffins refrigerates quite nicely. which is useful when you’re looking to make the batter sunday afternoon, but don’t have time to bake them. our batter made double the recipe that the book suggests, but i suspect this has to do with the size of our muffin tins. also, i insist that you use real orange juice. freshly squeezed, from real oranges. because if you’re not, you’re doing it wrong.

pumpkin muffins, pre-baking.

pumpkin-orange muffins
makes about 2 dozen muffins (using 1/4 cup batter per muffin)
adapted from joanne chang’s book, flour

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses or corn syrup
4 eggs
3/4 cup juice from 2 large/3 medium oranges
2 cups pumpkin puree
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

(if you plan to bake these right away).
place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350F. butter 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins.

cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses on medium speed for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition to combine the eggs and butter-sugar mixture thoroughly. scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once more. on low speed, add the orange juice and pumpkin and beat until combined.

in a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves until well mixed. dump the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and fold carefully just until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined. (the batter can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, about 1/4 cup per tin. bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.


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