This past Sunday I tried a second recipe from the latest book in my collection, 500 Cupcakes: The Only Cupcake Compendium You'll Ever Need. I was not thrilled with how the Pistachio & Apricot Muffins turned out and when I needed to make my Halloween cupcakes I went elsewhere for recipes I trusted more. However, I don't want to condemn a book from one bad recipe and other recipes that seemed very different than recipes from other books so I made a batch of cupcakes using a different recipe. I'm glad I did. This time things turned out much better.
Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year so I tried the Halloween Pumpkin Muffins from page 198 of 500 Cupcakes. Unlike the last muffin recipe I tried from this book, the dry ingredients to wet ingredients ratio was more on par with what I expected. A major difference this time was the amount of flour was less than half the Pistachio & Apricot Muffins. Also, no butter. This recipe called for vegetable oil. Flavoring was pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and allspice. I used canned pumpkin and I don't regret it one bit. I made my own fresh pumpkin last year and it was fine and all but a lot more work (I roasted) for results that were a little better. Not to say I wouldn't do it again, especially if I was making a soup or something and wanted to use the pumpkin halves as bowls or if I got a really good deal on pumpkin. It's just in my opinion the canned pumpkin is pretty good for something coming in a metal container. But I'm digressing. I combined the dry ingredients and the wet separately and then folded the dry in until they were just mixed.
Now here's where the book got a little screwy. The recipe says this makes 6 large muffins. When I hear large muffins, I think of ones bigger than my fist, six to a pan large. The muffins you get at a coffee shoppe and you need both hands to carry the plate kind of big. The intro caption for this recipe says "Decorate these cupcakes with skeletons for when the trick-or-treaters come calling." I'm reading the recipe thinking, yeah, these trick-or-treaters are going to work themselves into a frenzy when I pop open the door and reward their shy/enthusiastic "Trick-or-treat!" with a frosted muffin the size of their head! But that's not the picture the book gives me to use as a guide. The picture given with the recipe shows what I consider a standard size, twelve to a pan size. Reality is there is enough batter to make six large or twelve regular muffins but still a little weird. These really were good looking muffins coming out of the oven. The book has these cupcakes with cut-out fondant but I didn't want to do that, I was planning on using a cream cheese frosting. I didn't have a chance to make a homemade frosting for these so I just used one of the store bought whipped varieties. To top them off, little candy sprinkles shaped and colored like autumn leaves.
I liked these muffins. They were moist and tasted wonderful. The cream cheese frosting was a good choice flavorwise. The pumpkin flavor of the muffin was strong and matched well with the frosting. The candy sprinkles not only added color but a little crunch too when you bit into them. I know these went fast when Lorrie took them to work. I would definitely recommend this recipe.
OK, 500 Cupcakesis now one for two as far as the recipes are concerned. I want to try one or two more before I post of review of the book. I'm hoping the other recipes turn out like this.