So for a while I’ve had some ingredients I’ve been wanting to use up — leftover pumpkin from the Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake I made for the last UFC night, pistachios from Christmas baking, etc. And I bought some cardamom, because I love the smell, and wanted to do SOMETHING with it.

Initially I was thinking cookies, for some reason. Then my brain was like muffins would probably work better. Talks sense, that brain of mine does.

And so I started mulling it over to figure out what kind of recipe I could fairly safely adapt. Oatmeal applesauce muffins came to mind, and this recipe seemed pretty straightforward, so I decided to give it a go.

I’ll post the recipe as I made it, then explain what I’d do differently next time and why. That’ll give you an idea of what might suit your taste if you decide to give it a go. Oh, also, I doubled the recipe to make two dozen muffins, so that’s how I’m presenting it.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Pistachio Spice Muffins

Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Grease a muffin pan or line with paper cups.

Topping

1/2 C quick oats
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch ground cloves

Mix all ingredients together well in a bowl, then set aside.

Batter

3 C quick oats
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamon
1 C packed brown sugar
1 C coarsely ground pistachios (optional)

Mix all dry ingredients together well in a second bowl, then set aside.

2 C canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 C milk (the recipe said fat-free, I used soy, I’m sure whatever you’ve got is fine)
6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Mix wet ingredients together well in a third bowl.

Pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients (add them all at once) and stir until just blended. Fill muffin cups flush to the top of each cup. Sprinkle each with the topping mixture, and pat lightly into the batter.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until muffins are deep golden brown. Allow to partially cool in the muffin tin, then turn out and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Melle Notes

I thought these looked awesome when they came out of the oven (see photo below – sorry it’s slightly off, my camera doesn’t fluorescent lighting). They smell great baking, too. Upon eating, they were a touch less moist and less sweet than I’d like. Not a big surprise, since the batter was more of a dough-esque consistency once mixed.

So, to that end, I’d add maybe 1/4 C more milk, and would leave the egg yolks in and beat the whole eggs. Of course, if you’re counting fat, stick to the milk and maybe a bit more pumpkin. You could also get away with using less oats. Might try 2 1/2 cups next time, 2 cups the time after that, see where the sweet spot is.

To address the sweetness, I’d add another third to a half-cup of brown sugar. That said, when I spread a little butter on the second muffin, I didn’t miss the sweetness at all.

If you’re inclined to add the nuts, you could use anything, really. Ground hazelnuts would be lovely. Walnuts, almonds… Note that if you use the pistachios, you WILL have green flecks in the muffins. Kids might have issues with this.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Pistachio Spice Muffins

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