You what I found out about baking and experimenting? It’s expensive! Every week, I was trying out some new recipe that called for ingredients I didn’t have and come home with a grocery bill that was at least $20 bucks more than necessary.

As an inexperienced cook, I can’t tell what MUST be used and what can be substituted or left out. I must admit, the grocery bill, the mess and a string of failures in the kitchen have caused me to put my chef’s hat aside.

I’ve been making boring meals like marinated chicken and instant mashed potatoes for dinner. Pre-made turkey burgers and spaghetti and the like. So boring! I’m only mentioning this because I intend to get back in the kitchen soon. I miss creating meals and blogging about them!

Today, I noticed there were two cans of pumpkin unused in my cabinet. I had stocked up back in November thinking I’d be using pumpkin all the time. Nope, these cans were lonely and sad! I figured it was time for a batch of pumpkin muffins.

They never let me down because I love everything pumpkin. Want to see the recipe?

Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins

*From Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15 ounce can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil 2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups.

2. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

3. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.

4. Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Ericka’s Tip: Be sure to keep a close eye on these in the oven. If you are like me and prefer very moist muffins, you will not need this entire time. I think mine were in for 20. 

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