Friday, November 25, 2011

"sin"amon pumpkin muffins*

Hi y'all.  It's been awhile.  I've missed you.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving (but you probably know that.)  About a month ago, I made an executive decision not to slave away all day cook on Thanksgiving.  I also made an executive decision that my mom wasn't slaving away cooking either.  Along the same line, I decided we weren't doing any dishes for some poor schmuck lovely soul who might be willing to invite us all to dinner.  I was tired after this laborious decision making but I had just enough energy to pick up the phone to make a reservation at Bayside in Corona del Mar.  After that, I patted myself on the back and sat down on the couch to rest.

Quite a few things were behind the ban on cooking this year.  Mainly, this meal seems like SO MUCH WORK, which, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing.  I mean, I like to cook.  I love the process of bringing seemingly random ingredients together and creating amazing delicious dishes for friends and family to enjoy.  But this meal, for me, requires much work with very little payoff.  We have a small crew for Thanksgiving.  The man part of the equation is done eating in 15 minutes.  The littles like nothing about the meal but the turkey/gravy combination.  My mother and I now argue over discuss cornbread stuffing vs. her stuffing.  I don't like pumpkin pie.  Or pecan for that matter.  So I decided to be selfish.  And I feel very good in that decision.

Now that's not to say I didn't cook anything on Thanksgiving.  I got up early and while the children watched Sesame Street Phineas and Ferb :( and the husband went on his 10 mile run (go Sparky!),  I baked these muffins for our first annual "Thanksgiving Day at the Beach."  I love traditions.  And sometimes, we need to create a couple of new ones.

The muffins have a delicious cinnamon surprise center and a crumbly streusel topping.  They go equally well with a cup of coffee or, as I prefer,  a morning mimosa on the sand. 

Pumpkin "Sin"amon Muffins* 
Yields 19 large muffins

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons water 

1 box spice cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons room temperature butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin pan with cupcake papers or lightly grease.

Mix topping ingredients well until crumbly.  (I use my clean fingers.)

Prepare filling by mixing all ingredients well with fork or hand mixer.

Prepare batter by mixing with hand mixer on low for 30 seconds.  Increase speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down sides. 

Divide half the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  (I made 19 muffins.)  Dollop approximately 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon filling onto each muffin, then top with remaining batter.  Sprinkle a little topping over each and pressing lightly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and lovely.

Oh, and if you forget to put the topping on the first batch like I did, make this cream cheese frosting, because well, every muffin needs a topper. =)

*People, let's call these what they are-- CUPCAKES! 


  1. Stephanie-these look great and agree-new traditions are always good for the soul! Hope you and your family had a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving.

  2. i'm still drowning a bit, but i've got a lot to say about this. i'll be back :).

  3. I read your post on Saturday morning (while in a bit of a funk that an entire week went by with very little enjoyment, and as you said- an evening with very much work, and *very little pay-off), and it was music to my ears. ..something I could relate to entirely and just another 'bump on the head' that I needed moving forward. (my post will explain more :))

  4. How did I miss this?

    Over the last few years I've had to let go of the guilt of working 50+ hour weeks through the holidays. We've had to come up with solutions, like celebrating on a different day or making brunch the main meal. Do I love it? No, but I realized I was missing a lot by being resentful. I'm glad you found a way to enjoy it again.


  5. couldn't like this new tradition more!!