Pumpkin (Cupcakes) Muffins

Last Friday John gave a paper in our Music Research department colloquium series. To keep the gender roles of our relationship intact, I made pumpkin muffins for the occasion!

To paraphrase Jim Gaffigan, people love cake. They love it at any meal, so they rename it to make themselves feel better. "Muffins" - cake for breakfast!

I even busted out the Martha Stewart Cake Deco Kit and used this icing tip. It turned out not to be the one I wanted, but every time I use that thing it's an experiment.

And anyways, no one cared. They tasted good. Some of them even looked nice, like this one.

Some were a little less beautiful, but people ate them up.

The smiling blond girl is our friend, Jess. After John's paper, we went out with her for sushi, to celebrate her birthday.

Here I've captured another moment where Matthew is thinking, "What's with her and that camera? Why is she taking my picture?"

I'd say a bow-tie like that deserves a photo.

I love when I can get a photo of John laughing like that. His happiness nearly broke the camera.

Our Canadians told us they call this the "Lizzie," as a nickname.

And this one is called the Johnny Mack because there's a tiny version of "In Flanders Fields," by John McCrae on it.

Now, everyone, think back to the beginning of this post, that was actually about muffins. Remember?
Here's the recipe! It's from Pioneer Woman. The only difference is that I added a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the batter instead of raisins. Also, I doubled it so that I could have 24 muffins. They were still pretty small, so I was glad I did it.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting
from Pioneer Woman


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional!)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until all incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins. Fold gently until mixture is just combined. Pour into greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle generous amounts of cinnamon-sugar over the top of each unbaked muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Ice with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup softened butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Spread onto completely cooled muffins, or place into a large pastry bag with a large star tip and go crazy!

Store in fridge, as icing will soften at room temperature.