The trees in the foothills are still mostly green, but the Rockies are speckled with patches of golden yellow aspens, standing out in forests of evergreen. The further uphill you drive, the more you see. The further uphill you drive, the more you start thinking about pumpkins.
Last week's camping trip had me immersed in golden trees, and therefor had me thinking about pumpkins (and other tasty fall treats) a lot. And since I'm still finding new ways to use my homemade apple butter, that had to be involved too. Have you heard the saying "things that grow together go together?" It's totally true. Pumpkin spice and sweet apple spread are best friends.
While Paleo muffins are often dry (coconut flour has a way of absorbing all liquids), these are soft and moist. The pumpkin puree adds moisture and starch to the batter (starches, when cooked, uncoil and bind, forming a network that is helps form the nice crumb of traditional breads). Apple butter is sort of like icing on the cupcake, a sweet spread that ends the show.
I don't know about you, but suddenly I'm craving a nice mug of chai, too. Because having one of these pumpkin muffins alongside a cozy chai sounds like the perfect fall snack.
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins Stuffed with Apple Butter
2 cups Almond Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut milk
4-5 tablespoons honey, melted (more if you have a sweet tooth, less if you are avoiding sugars)
1/2 cup apple butter
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin tin with muffin liners.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, salt, spices). Break up any chunks while stirring.
3. In separate bowl, whisk together the (pumpkin, coconut oil, coconut milk, eggs, honey).
4. Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring with a spatula until everything is incorporated and a batter is formed. Scoop batter into muffin liners, until they are about 80% full. Place try in oven and bake for 23-27 minutes. Muffins will bounce back when touched, but tops will be crisp (there may even be some cracking) and golden.
5. Set finished muffins on a rack to cool. Once muffins are cool enough to handle (10 minutes or so), they are ready to fill with apple butter. There are two ways to stuff the muffins (I used a piping tip, but in the absence of a piping tip, the slice-and-spread option will work):
Use a piping tip: Fill a piping bag or bottle with apple butter, and attach a medium piping tip to it. Ensure that all of the air is removed from the piping bag. Insert the piping tip into the center of each muffin, squeeze gently but firmly to fill each one with about 1-2 teaspoons of apple butter.
Slice-and-spread option: Unwrap each muffin (discard the paper, or use reusable liners for this option). Slice the muffin with a sharp knife hamburger style (with the muffin sitting on your cutting board, parallel your knife to the counter. Direct the blade through the muffin at the halfway point. Set the top aside and spread on some apple butter. Replace the top of the muffin, and serve!