It started out as a perfectly well-intentioned effort to get children into the kitchen. But halfway into my month-long Mom’s Kitchen Handbook Snackdown, a recipe contest for kids, I realized there could be some real upside for yours truly. What better way to get fresh material, free of charge, than to have kids do the work for me? Case in point are these tasty Pumpkin Ginger Muffins, the recipe that snagged first prize.
I was thinking of calling these Awesome Emily’s Pumpkin Ginger Muffins because how awesome is it that a 13 year old (named Emily) took the time to dream up, research, bake, photograph, write, and then email a recipe for a little contest? When I was 13 I was too busy squeezing lemon juice in my hair to make it go blond and riding my bike to the local Taco Bell to consider recipe contests.
(this is the photo that arrived in my inbox along with the recipe)
In the interest of full disclosure, I happen to know the baker behind these tender, wholesome muffins. But the recipe is deserving: it earned unanimous thumbs up from my panel of kid-tasters and disappeared from the bread basket within two days of baking. Maybe use this as inspiration in your own house: yes you do have staff. They are your children. Put them to work!
EMILY’S AWESOME PUMPKIN GINGER MUFFINS
- 1/2 cup soft butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- ½ cup raisins (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and stir again.
In a separate medium bowl, sift the flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine.
Gently stir in the walnuts, raisins, and ginger.
Pour into greased muffin tins (or paper muffin cups) and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Cool, then ENJOY!
Recipe by Emily, age 13, of San Francisco. Adapted from a recipe for Applesauce Muffins on Muffins.com