I know, there is it again, the ubiquitous ‘Pumpkin Spice’ thing. It’s EVERYWHERE isn’t it? I sort of hate that it feels overdone because I love these seasonal spices. I don’t know about you but I credit a certain coffee business with the yearly obsession for a Pumpkin Spice Latte and it took off from there. Well to be honest I can take it or leave it in a coffee but I love it in foods that really work with warm spices. I loved this Pumpkin Spice applesauce and it was perfect in these Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Molasses Walnut Crumble…especially the 2nd time around!
I’m working with Sprouts to do some seasonal posts and it’s a great collaboration since it’s where I do most of my shopping. I chose to use their Pumpkin Spice Applesauce and thought it would be perfect in a seasonal muffin; it has just the right blend of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg all combined with apples to make it perfect. My original intent was to try and lighten the fat content using a suggestion I’ve seen to replace the fat in a muffin with applesauce.
Sounded easy enough but having never done it before, I opted to follow a recipe on a well known baking site as a guide just to be safe. In a nutshell? Horrible. No good. Very bad. TERRIBLE. Too dense, too gooey and nowhere near enough flavor…what was I thinking? So I gave them to a neighbor (I call the guys on my street Mikey…for the most part they really will eat anything I make). Casey was going hunting and I figured in a pinch they could still save his life. 🙂
I dropped the applesauce for butter idea and included both. Plus dried cranberries and a totally decadent molasses walnut crumble. I had some of that crumble left over; it was fantastic toasted on some English Muffins. I might make it again just for that reason!
Not that the result wasn’t decadent enough but I took it a step further. I’ve make my own pumpkin butter in years past but this Fall I’ve been just crazy busy so I was especially happy to have some Maple Pumpkin Butter from Sprouts. If you’ve never had pumpkin butter; it’s a lot like apple butter but with, well…pumpkin! I made a breakfast butter by combining some of the pumpkin butter with softened butter and then refrigerated the two until firm.
It really was the perfect complement to these Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Molasses Walnut Crumble. I made 2 dozen and as I usually do, I handed them out to neighbors all around me. True confession? I wish I had saved a few more for me. These are keepers and would be perfect for a family breakfast or a special treat on Thanksgiving too.
I mentioned that this post for these Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Molasses Walnut Crumble was sponsored by Sprouts. When they sent me some products to try and choose from for my posts, one of them was a bag of Pumpkin Snaps. A cousin to Gingersnaps but with some extra oomph. I chose to use other products for my posts but a day after making birthday cupcakes for a neighbors son I had a container of frosting left over and had this brainiac idea to combine the Pumpkin Snaps with some leftover Buttercream Frosting.
Genius I tell ya. For these treats I used my second string testing crew; the neighborhood kids, and they gobbled them up. What a fun and easy treat to make for your family or take to a holiday event; they simply could not have been easier. I have decorating tips I use to apply frosting but if you don’t…just spread some frosting on top…I bet no one says no!
For the Muffins
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup Sprouts Pumpkin Spice Applesauce
- 1 cup Sprouts Organic canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
For the Molasses Crumb Topping
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped roughly and toasted lightly
For the Maple Apple Butter Spread
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, softened
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Apple Butter
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease 12 muffin cups with melted butter (approximately 2 Tbsp, melted).
- Prepare the crumb topping. Mix all of the ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and process until the mixture sticks together in clumps. Add the nuts and process just enough to combine ingredient and leave large pieces of walnuts.
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, applesauce, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended.
- Add dry ingredients and add alternately with the apple juice, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. mix until smooth. Fold in the Craisins.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup two-thirds full. Scatter the crumb topping generously on top of the muffin batter.
- Bake on the center oven rack until a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in the pans several minutes before turning out onto a rack. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature.
To Make the Maple Apple Butter Spread:
- Combine both ingredients until smooth, refrigerate to set.
For High Altitude (5-6000'): Add 2 Tbsp flour, eliminate 1 Tbsp of sugar, and add 2 additional Tbsps of Apple Cider. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 16 minutes (check early to test).
This post is my contribution to the Food Network’s #FallFeast Series.
You can find more pumpkin inspired recipes at the Sprouts Brand website here.
This is a sponsored conversation paid for by Sprouts however all commentary is my own.