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Halloween Treats: Pumpkin Mini Muffins

I have a hard time resisting moist, spiced pumpkin muffins at this time of year – I’m drawn not only to their warmth and pumpkin-ness, but to the way they make my house smell as they bake – there is no better potpourri. This week I’ve been baking a lot of pumpkin muffins – wrapping them in napkins and sending them out the door while they’re still warm, popping them in lunchboxes and freezing any leftovers. I love this mini version – perfect for snacking, when I need a little something but don’t want to commit to a full-sized muffin, and for those with wee fingers and appetites. And these are what I’ll be making when it comes time to send something to my son’s grade 2 Halloween party – they would be divine topped with a swirl of cream cheese frosting.

Alternatively, bake these in regular-sized paper-lined muffin cups for 20-25 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

Pumpkin Mini Muffins

1 14 oz. (398 ml) can pumpkin puree
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 large egg
3 cups flour (all-purpose, whole wheat or a combination)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and egg; in another bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined.

Spoon into mini muffin tins, filling them almost full; sprinkle with coarse sugar, if you like. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

Makes about 3 dozen mini muffins.

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