Crowd-pleasing Pumpkin Muffins

Normally, I get these puppies made as soon as all the pumpkin spiced… well, everything, hits the market.  I’ve made these milk, egg, and nut free pumpkin muffins for several years now and they are always a hit with my non-food allergic nieces and nephews.  That’s my litmus test, if you will.  If kids without allergies love it, it’s must be good!  My recipe is adapted from a pumpkin bread recipe of Alton Brown’s.  I made mini-muffins instead of bread because they are easier to serve to a crowd and a great bite-sized snack for kids.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1& 1/2 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer plus 6 tbsp warm water mixed until blended and frothy (=substitute for 3 large eggs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • one 15 oz can of pumpkin

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F and spray each section of your mini-muffin pan with oil. Sift the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in one bowl.  I don’t own a sifter, so I just use a fork to get the lumps out.  In a separate bowl, mix sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and blended egg replacement together.  Combine both mixtures, then fold in the can of pumpkin until uniformly mixed.  Spoon a heaping teaspoonful into each portion of the mini-muffin pan.  Bake for 15-17 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean, then invert pan and plop onto a clean dish towel to allow to cool while you bake the next batch.  Makes about 48 mini-muffins.

Enjoy!

pumpkin-muffin

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Reindeer Poop (or yummy fried dough)

Pardon the name.  I won’t admit to taking part in the naming of this yummy treat, but when you have boys in your home, well, potty humor happens.  Last year, we decided to do a family activity every evening of Advent.  This activity, making fried dough, is an easy crowd pleaser.  The kids even get to help with the dough unrolling, careful slicing, and sugar shakin’.

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You will need:

1 can of Pillsbury French Loaf.

1 large bottle of vegetable oil.

1& 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 tbsp of cinnamon, mixed well

cutting board, pizza cutter, plastic container with tight lid

I start by pouring the whole bottle of oil into a large corning-type crock or other safe for frying (high walled, appropriate material) pot.   Heat the oil over medium heat for about five minutes.  Open the can of french bread and unroll it lengthwise onto a clean cutting board.  It’s sometimes tough to get started, but don’t give up, it will unroll.  You should end up with a flat, rectangle of dough.  After that, I use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into several small 1-2 inch rectangles.  You can roll it into whatever… um… shape you want, but I like easy so I just leave it as is.  Gently place 5-6 pieces at a time into the hot oil.  Careful to avoid splashes because they hurt!  You will know your oil is hot enough when they float right up after you drop them in.  It takes just a minute or two on each side and I flip them with a metal, slotted spatula.  Once they are golden brown on both sides, remove from pot and place on a paper towel-lined plate.  Then, I use tongs to move them from the plate to a lidded plastic storage container holding the cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Put the fried dough into the container, place the lid on tight, and shake!  Remove the “Poo” carefully and voila, delish!