Jane’s Sweets & Baking Journal -- janessweets.blogspot.com -- October 2011

Fluffy Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut & Pecans

(This recipe has been adapted from the book, Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours; Rizzoli International Publications, 2010; see pages 70-72.)

Yield: At least 12 generous regular-size muffins, or at least 24 minis

Preheat oven to 400. Grease, butter, spray with vegetable spray, or use paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan or a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. (I just used paper liners for mine, but I sprayed the top of the pan--not the cups--so the muffin tops wouldn't stick.)

3 and 2/3 cups pastry flour, sifted

1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

scant 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt (Or use kosher salt.)

1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 and 1/3 cups superfine sugar

4 eggs, large, at room temperature, and lightly beaten

One 15-oz. can of solid-pack pumpkin

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

Mix together the coconut and pecans. Roughly chop them on a cutting board, not too finely. Separate out 1/4 cup to sprinkle over the unbaked muffins.

In the large bowl of your mixer, beat the butter on high speed for approximately one minute, until it looks creamy. Slowly add in the sugar, still on high speed, and beat until its color lightens and it looks kind of fluffy; this should take about 5 minutes. Be sure to stop and scrape bowl and beaters periodically.

Add in the eggs gradually, beating until well combined. On low speed, add in the pumpkin. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled. Still on low speed, add the flour into this in thirds, beating just until smooth. Pour in the 3/4 cup of chopped coconut and pecans pieces and blend just until evenly combined.  

Using a portion scoop (an ice cream type scoop), divide the batter evenly into your muffin cups, mounding it high. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup coconut-pecan pieces over the tops.

Bake at 400 on the middle rack of your oven for 10 minutes; lower the temperature to 375 and continue baking--perhaps 10 to 15 more minutes--until the muffin tops are nicely golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. (If you’re making mini muffins, keep a close eye on them and I would suggest you turn the oven down after 5 minutes.)