Autumn has well and truly arrived along with fallen leaves, scarves, cosy boots, ear warmers, steaming mugs of coffee and lovely warming soups and stews. It is my favourite season – I am the ultimate fan of scarves
Autumn also brings pumpkins. Big fat orange pumpkins. And none more lovely than Libby’s Pumpkin Puree. I used to import this from the US before you could get it here. I spent Thanksgiving in Boston with my godson and his family a number of years ago. It was at this dinner that I managed to snag the amazing Pumpkin Bread recipe from my aunt.
It was a huge relief when Fallon & Byrne started to stock cans of Libby’s in their amazing store in Dublin and I no longer had to fly 3000 miles and spend an utter fortune to stock up. Saying that, I will still make a trip to the US given half a chance.
This mini muffin is vegan and wheat/gluten free. It is amazing light and moist but amazingly has no butter or eggs. The addition of cinnamon gives it that lovely warm flavour that is associated with autumn and warming dishes.
An original recipe by Gracies Bakes
Makes 8 muffins
Grease a muffin tin with some oil or some soya spread. I used mini pudding tins for these. Preheat the oven to 190C.
70g walnut halves roughly, but fairly finely chopped
1tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
70g coconut oil, melted
110g soft light brown sugar
60ml soya milk
1tsp vanilla essence
200g gluten free baking flour
one half teaspoon of salt
one half teaspoon of GF baking powder
one half teaspoon of GF baking soda
one half teaspoon of cinnamon
240g Libbys (or any other) Pumpkin Puree
For the Glaze
60ml of Brown Rice Syrup (Or honey*)
1tbsp coconut oil melted
a pinch of cinnamon
*if you use honey in this, it is no longer vegan but they are just as tasty.
To make the muffins, place the walnuts, cinnamon and tbsp of sugar in a bowl and mix until the walnuts are covered.
In a large bowl, place the coconut oil, milk, vanilla essence and brown sugar and whisk together until creamy and light. I used a hand mixer to blend.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder and sodas into the mix and stir together until combined.
Add the pumpkin and stir until just combined. Do not over stir as the mixture will become heavy and the dough will be gummy.
To bring together, add a teaspoon of the coated sugared walnuts to the bottom of the tin or muffing pan. Then add a heaped tablespoon of the mixture on top of the nuts. I use an ice-cream scoop to get even measures.
Lightly push the mixture down into the tin without packing it. THe mix will not rise too much but the cakes are paced with flavour.
Place in your preheated oven for 20-24 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.
When almost cooled, whisk the ingredients for the glaze together quickly and spoon generously over the top of the muffins.
Serve with a steaming hot mug of coffee, while curled up on the sofa with a warm jumper, good company and a view.