Pumpkin (aka Winter Squash) Beer Muffins
Right off the bat, I'm confessing, first I took a short cut this week. A short cut, because I actually created this recipe a few months ago (and posted it somewhere else), when pumpkin beer was "in season." Yes, there is a season for pumpkin beer which is usually brewed in the summer and distributed starting at the end of July/August. So if you want to have some during the actual "pumpkin season" you must buy it then and then save it as I did.
I also used a short cut, in that like those brewers of beer, I used canned not fresh pumpkin. Now let me digress for a moment as I share with you a canned pumpkin story.
Did you know that all the Libby's (maybe others too) canned pumpkin in this country (well, at least as of 20+ years ago), comes from roughly two plants - one in Illinois (Morton to be exact) and the other in California. These plants operate only for 12 weeks a year, during pumpkin harvesting season, and you can see trucks laden with pumpkins rolling down the highways towards them in the morning and leaving empty later in the day. Those pumpkins are brought into the plants in the morning and within a few hours are cooked, canned, sealed and labeled for shipment. I know this because I toured that plant in Morton Illinois many years ago when I worked as a consultant. Anyway, my point is I feel confident using canned (unflavored) pumpkin as an acceptable (and easy) substitute to fresh.
So now on with the recipe (oh and because I did create this recipe a while ago, sorry no ingredient shot - shoot me).
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup SUGAR
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I'm counting this b/c it contains both cinnamon & nutmeg)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 15 oz canned pumpkin
- 12 oz pumpkin beer (really any beer will do)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
In a medium bowl, mix together flours, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a whisk.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, beer, egg, vanilla and oil until smooth.
Add dry mix to wet, stirring just until moist (don’t over mix). Scoop batter into muffin tins coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove and cool for as long as you can possibly wait to eat them. This will make 20 muffins.
Now I’m not going to lie, the house had an odd smell while these baked – I’m assuming because of the beer. And there is a slight taste of beer on the palate when you eat them. But they are good and moist and are holding up well in a Tupperware container on my counter. For the beer, I used River Horse Hipp O Lantern, but I’d imagine any pumpkin beer would do and if you don’t use a pumpkin beer, I’d up the pumpkin spice a tad (maybe 1.25 or 1.5 teaspoons total).
Oh, and for my Weight Watcher peeps, these came in at 3 points plus value – not bad at all!