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Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

Category: Dessert
Source: Crumbs blog by Kristen J. Gough
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Number of Servings: 20
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups pumpkin (almost one 15-oz. can)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
3 cups flour (I use 2 1/2 cups all-purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Optional additions:
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners or spritz the pan with nonstick baking spray.

In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (except the sugars). If you want, you can increase the whole wheat/all-purpose flour ratio to equal amounts totally 3 cups, or even try using all whole-wheat flour. The pumpkin will still make the muffins moist, but they may not rise as much. I also add in a tablespoon or so of ground flax seed for an added health boost. You can find it at area grocers with the specialized flours under the Bob's Red Mill label.

In a large bowl, combine the pureed pumpkin with the sugar. Blend in the eggs one at a time, followed by the water and oil. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. At this point, you can also stir in the walnuts, chocolate chips or vanilla.

Fill in the muffin tins 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are just barely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. (Along with making for great snacks, these muffins freeze well, too!)

Good to the last crumb!
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