“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”- Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables)
Oh Anne with an ‘E’, I so agree with you. October is such a wonderful month. The leaves, the fresh air, the cool crisp mornings, Thanksgiving, sweaters, blankets, soups, hot drinks and pumpkin everything!
For Thanksgiving my family does an annual pumpkin hunt in which my dad loads up the trailer with straw, hitches it up to the pick-up truck and drives us all around the farm so the grandkids can ‘hunt’ for pumpkins. It’s a wonderful tradition that we all look forward to every year. My mom sends us adults home with a pumpkin too which we always enjoy. Truth be told- usually my pumpkin sits on the front porch until the new year when my husband has had enough of the rotten mush and gives me some severe ultimatum or until his best friend (who has seen this mush for too many years in a row) is greeted by it when he visits and begins reminiscing on pumpkins of the past. This year I decided to save stress on my marriage (and my pride) and use the pumpkin for baking instead. I was originally just going to make pumpkin scones, but there was so much pumpkin puree that I went ahead and made muffins and cookies too- and still have some leftover to probably whip up into another batch of muffins this week.
The scones were adapted from the China Study Cookbook Biscuit recipe. My alterations: 1 cup applesauce was replaced by ¼ cup vegetable oil mixed with ¾ cup pumpkin. I also added 1 TBSP extra sugar to compensate for the sweetness lost by omitting apple sauce. I then added in 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp cloves and ⅛ tsp ginger. I also used a GF all purpose flour (Irresistables brand) in place of the wheat flour to make it gluten free. ***The first time I made this biscuit recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free all purpose and the recipe turned out very muffin like, and I wound up having to add a TON of flour (like 2.5 cups by the end of it). To get an actual scone texture, I recommend using a finer GF All-purpose like Robin Hood, Irresistibles, or Bob’s GF 1 to 1 flour.
The cookies were adapted from Angela Liddon’s Spelt Molasses Cookies (recipe: Here). I substituted pumpkin puree for the oil she calls for in the recipe and then used a GF Flour, and omitted the candied ginger. Since I didn’t use oil, I pressed the cookies down before placing them in the oven. If you use oil then follow her directions and do not flatten before baking. I also decided not to roll the cookies in sugar because I found them to be sweet enough. I really loved these cookies! Ginger Crinkles have always been my favourite cookies and these remind me so much of them. Not to mention, with the warm flavours of ginger and clove they just taste like cold weather and hot drink coziness.
Finally, my delicious Pumpkin Spice Muffins. The muffins are my own recipe and so I will share with you. If you add the ingredients in the order listed then it means you only have one bowl to clean up (yay for less dishes!) after baking. Although you absolutely can mix the wet in one bowl and the dry in another and combine them if that’s the way you do things.
I’m the kind of person who likes easy, simple recipes without a lot of ingredients. This recipe looks daunting when I write it down because it has so many spices in it (and thus so many ingredients), but it really is so simple, easy and quick.
Gluten Free, Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffins
- ¾ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 TBSP ground flax seed (or 1 egg if not Vegan)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp Dried ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups Gluten Free All purpose Flour (OR 1¼ cup all purpose flour and 1 cup oats)
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
- Whisk all wet ingredients in a bowl with flaxseed, spices and salt until uniform.
- Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda in with the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. (Overmixing results in dense and crumbly muffins).
- Grease a muffin pan and place about ¼ cup of the batter into each muffin mold.
- Place in the oven and bake for 23 minutes. Allow to sit a few minutes after baking before removing from pan.
**If you are familiar with using flax in place of eggs you will notice I did not pre-mix my flax seeds with water. I like to put it directly into the mixture to absorb the liquid that is already used in the recipe.
Enjoy this recipe and the beauty of this wonderful season!