“Mommy, what kind of toppings are we gonna use for the muffins?”
“Yeah, like sprinkles, candy… chocolate chips?”
“Toppings are for cupcakes, little man. They’re too sweet for muffins.”
“Wait, Mommy I know! We can use granola! Is that a good choice?”
( ♥ ♥ ♥ )
Of course it is.
You gotta love the mind of a 4 year old… always thinking, always negotiating. However, I was actually looking forward to seeing this one play out. My little guy carefully sprinkled each muffin with a bit of granola, picking at some of the pieces as he went along. I wanted to pick too, but I did not dare interrupt; it was a very serious mission.
This whole ‘topping’ idea turned out to be a good thing all around. I had a batch of granola that was pretty much finished (bag o’ crumbs) yet just enough to get the job done. It was flecked with random bits of fruit and nuts, and I was quite fond of the odd bite with cranberry and coconut. It was a nice flavor with the pumpkin.
And then this happened…
Yes. Mini acorns! Buried deep within the junk that is my kitchen cabinets, I have this adorable little cake pan that happens to surface only in the fall, you know, when you’re supposed to celebrate stuff like leaves and acorns. They’re like mini muffins with a crunchy top. I find them the perfect size for dunking (and for little hands).
You can thank Dillon for that idea too.
And just as I was about to bite into one of these muffins, Dillon swiped it right out of my hand! He announced that we had to take a picture of it first before we could eat them…
Uh oh. Where on earth did he get that from?!
- I used white ‘tulip’ cases for my muffins because I love them and think that they’re pretty ;) Regular ones will work just fine; you might end up with a couple more muffins (12-14) depending on how high you fill them.
- If you’re interested in the mini acorn pan, you can find it here. Make sure to grease the pan well, getting into all of the grooves. I used coconut oil spray for this (yes, they make that now) and it works great.
- To get the whole crunchy top effect, these muffins are best on the day that they are made. The granola will soften over time due to the moisture content in the muffins. Not a bad thing, just an FYI-
- If you’re using canned pumpkin puree, you will have just enough leftover to make pumpkin spice granola.
- 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 c. pumpkin puree
- ¾ c. sugar (I use blonde cane sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tsp. vanilla
- ⅓ c. coconut oil, melted & cooled
- 1 c. granola (any variety)
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
- In a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients so that they are evenly incorporated.
- In another bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients, and stir until just combined; do not over mix (the muffins will be tough).
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling them about 2/3’s full.
- Sprinkle 1 tsp. of granola onto each muffin.
- Bake in the center of the oven for about 25-30 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.
*For extra crunchy granola, these muffins are best on the day that they are made. The granola will soften over time due to the moisture content in the muffins.