I have two annual traditions this time of year: I like to watch classic 1960s and 1970s horror movies (the kind heavy on atmosphere and suspense and light on gore), and I love to overdo it on pumpkin-filled foods. I just can’t help myself.
Along with a warm blanket and perhaps a warm hand to hold, these muffins go a long way in the comfort department. Unexpected textures and flavors really bring it together; the crystallized ginger gives them a fine edge, while the chopped pecans add crunch and a sweet, nutty flavor. Now go get your blankets, a scary movie, a dozen of these muffins, and a warm cup of tea.
Ginger Pecan Pumpkin Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (make it gluten free with 1 cup rice flour and 1 cup oat flour)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup pumpkin puree (be sure to get the unspiced, unsweetened plain puree)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, sea salt and spices. Set aside.
In a separate, large mixing bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the beaten eggs, olive oil and yogurt. Whisk thoroughly. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until just combined.
In another bowl, combine the chopped pecans with the crystallized ginger. Reserve 1/4 cup for topping muffins. Fold remaining mix into muffin batter.
Grease 12 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally. Top each muffin with a few pieces of the remaining crystallized ginger and pecans.
Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
All photography by Kimberley Hasselbrink.
Kimberley Hasselbrink is a food photographer and blogger based in San Francisco. She is the author of the blog The Year in Food, which is framed around a monthly seasonal food guide. Kimberley enjoys unusual produce, strong coffee, road trips and summer nights.