Life moves too fast. Such a trite saying but I find that common or not, I say it every day. Today’s reminder actually came with this post. I made these in 2012 for a very particular reason, and I can close my eyes and see the scene like it was yesterday.
Forever my first “playgroup”, I met Emily and Miriam at the park near my house when Tessa was not yet walking. We would chat and became friends, seeing each other almost daily at the park. When the winter weather set in we exchanged numbers and every Tuesday would get the kids together, rotating houses. Miriam was a great mom – she was from Germany and it was so fun to learn from her. She cooked super healthfully and was wary of what little Hazel ate. For Hazel’s second birthday I wanted to make treat that Miriam would be alright with, so I made these muffins. I can see us now, sitting at our tiny dining room table in our cozy borough house. Such a warm little memory. Miriam moved back to Germany and we’ve lost touch, but Em and I are still friends – she is an amazing momma.
These are muffins that you won’t need your mixer for and though they contain sugar, it’s much lower than you’ll find in some recipes (they’re a lot like cupcakes, after all). With whole wheat flour and a “frosting” that you could easily eat for breakfast with fruit, they’re a treat that is fun for your little ones to eat but equally great for you. Because the frosting can be thrown together easily, I like to frost what I need for that day or event and freeze the rest, unfrosted, for a later date.
Pumpkin Mini-Muffins with Greek Yogurt-Maple Frosting
Makes 32 mini or about 16 regular
2 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. mild oil (grapeseed, refined coconut, canola or vegetable)
1 c. pureed pumpkin
1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. cream cheese (regular or lowfat), softened to room temperature
1 c. nonfat or 2% plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two mini-muffin pans with paper liners (line 16 holes).
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium mixing bowl until combined.
3. Whisk brown sugar, oil, egg, pumpkin, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until smoothly combined.
4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and fold until just combined.
5. Fill muffin holes 2/3 of the way full with batter.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set in the center (touch gently with fingertip). Cool 5 minutes in pan. Remove muffins to wire rack to cool completely.
7. To make frosting, whisk cream cheese, yogurt and syrup until smoothly combined.
8. Spoon or pipe frosting onto cooled muffins and swirl with the back of a spoon to cover the top.
9. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
Cupcakes will keep covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.