This recipe comes from a great cookbook all about baking from Sarabeth Levine called “Sarabeth’s Bakery”, From my Hands to Yours.”

It is a great cookbook that I want to buy now that I’ve made a few things out of it. A few recipes that have caught my eye already (besides the pumpkin muffins!) Pains au Chocolat, Chocolate Babka, Banana Streusel Muffins, Maple Muffins, Rosemary Focaccia, Mrs. Stein’s Chocolate Cake and Lemon Raspberry Cake.

Now on to the muffins! Here’s a snapshot of one in yesterday’s morning sunlight coming into my kitchen.
Pumpkin Muffins

3 2/3 cup pastry flour, sifted
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
One 15- ounce can solid pack pumpkin (which is almost 2 cups)
1 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup hulled unsalted sunflower seeds

Preheat over to 400. Brush insides of 12 muffin cups with softened butter, then brush the tops.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating, scraping the sides often until the mixture is very light in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low, Beat in pumpkin, the mixture may look curdled. In thirds, beat in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, and mix until smooth. Add the raisins. Increase the speed to high and beat until the batter has a slight sheen, about 15 seconds longer.
Fill muffin tins. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 375 and continue baking until tops of muffins are golden brown and a wire cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Note: I shortened the writing (since I’m lazy and a slow typer) the the basics. And using lots of softened butter on the pans gave a nice crispy outside to the muffins!