Pipe Dream #291: To Use The Whole Wheat – Pumpkin Muffins with Whiskey Glaze

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Today is the official end of summer. It’s the middle of September already; get with it, guys. But unfortunately, the middle of August was the end of summer for me.

How do I know? Because in the middle of August I bought a 30-ounce can of pumpkin, and it wasn’t on sale and then baked six things with it without realizing it wasn’t time for fall yet which is the only time for pumpkin baked goods. First bite of that muffin and my entire body and mind said, “Sweater weather.” Deal sealt.

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Like I said, this was the 30-ounce can, and pumpkin goes a long way. You’ll be seeing pumpkin posts for a while, and there are ones I’m not even posting about, like those classic pumpkin bars you see at MN potlucks that I threw together at 11 PM because I was desperate to use up the last of the can. Eh, maybe I will show you it, if I come up with something creative for the frosting/presentation. Hopefully I’ve got the pumpkin out of my system so I can do cooler fall recipes with sweet potato (marshmallow frosting on the real) and persimmons.

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One cool thing, at least for me (I can’t exactly know exactly what will seem cool to you I guess I will just have to be myself), was that I bought whole wheat flour. Specialty flours (e.g. spelt, aramanth, oat, rye, etc.) are all the rage these days, but I haven’t really jumped on the train for a few reasons:

  1. I haven’t bought into their healthfulness. Are they really as nutritious as people make them seem? Or rather, is all-purpose flour (total baking staple) really as unhealthful as people make it seem? Everything in moderation?
  2. I’m subtly trying to take a stand against veganism. Not really, but a little. I don’t mind if food is vegan or not. That is, I’m just going to eat the food, and if it happens to be vegan sometimes because whaddya know, I’m eating a handful of raw nuts, that is ok. Anyway, I feel like special flours are a roundabout way of buying into the various health food movements of late.
  3. Specialty flours are a little more expensive than regular flour. Gourmet = price bump. I have not researched this in detail.
  4. Specialty flours are less useful/less tasty than regular flour. We call it all-purpose for a reason. Don’t want to get stuck with five pounds of some ground up wheat germ that makes whatever it touches also taste like wheat germ.
  5. It helps me cull through all the food on the Internet. If I’m scroll-scroll-scrolling through blogs all evening bookmarking food porn looking through a bunch of recipes that look yummy, I can usually eliminate a few off the “To Make” list by looking at the ingredients. Oh, don’t have oil of oregano? No problem, there are twenty other things I would like to make right now with foodstuffs that already exist in my pantry.

The thing is, I see so many cool recipes that include specialty flours, and sometimes I’m sad to pass them by. Plus, what if the whole health thing has some merit? So I bought whole wheat flour. I’m considering swapping it into some other recipes by halves to see if I can taste the difference.

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I was pleasantly surprised that these muffins did not taste like wheat germ! Really! C’est vrai! They just tasted like your everyday pumpkin lusciousness of muffin, friend of coffee shops everywhere. I was a still little skittish, this being my first foray into wheat flour, so I topped them with a thick whiskey glaze.

Nervousness was not the only reason I topped these with a thick whiskey glaze.

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Also, cinnamon butter. Come on.

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Give whole wheat flour a try–it may not disappoint.

Best,

Lauren

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Whiskey Glaze

Adapted from Voskos.com

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup salted caramel Greek yogurt (full fat)
1 (15oz) can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

For topping:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar + whiskey/milk to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and spray with nonstick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt. Add the pumpkin puree and the oil, whisking to combine.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.

To prepare topping, mix sugar with cinnamon. Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each cup almost to top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake 20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in pan a few minutes, then on a wire rack.

For the glaze, beat together 3 tablespoons softened butter with 3/4 cup – 1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add maybe six tablespoons of liquid taste (4 whiskey, 2 milk?) stirring together gently until combined. Add more/less liquid or powdered sugar to get the consistency with which you are pleased.

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