Last Friday, the Good Food Awards Roadshow was welcomed to Austin with a happy hour party. Good Food Award winner Stephanie McClenny of Confituras hosted the happy hour at Springdale Farm, and it was a mini showcase of local foods and beverages. There were samples from some Austin food artisans and a few seasonal, homemade items. Carla from Austin Urban Gardens brought a kale and butternut squash salad made with all local ingredients, and I whipped up these mini, savory muffins. The idea is from Baked Explorations where they’re suggested as regular-size muffins, but I thought minis would work better as happy hour snacks. They were made with local pumpkin from my CSA, clothbound cheddar from Brazos Valley Cheese, and eggs from Smith and Smith Farms. Black pepper and cayenne pepper keep these muffins firmly in the savory category, and I garnished with pumpkin seeds, a little extra finely grated cheese, and a sprinkling of mild chile powder as visual cues of their lack of sweetness.
These are easy to make because everything is whisked and folded together in a bowl, and no mixer is required. Since I had a fresh pumpkin on hand, I roasted and pureed it, but canned pumpkin is suggested in the book. To start, that is once the pumpkin is ready, you whisk together pumpkin puree and sour cream and then add eggs and cooled, melted butter. In a separate bowl, flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt, black pepper, and brown sugar are combined, and a well is formed in the center. The wet ingredients are poured in the well, and the mixture is folded until combined. Grated cheese is folded into the batter, and this it is divided among oil-sprayed muffin cups. If you’d like to garnish the tops, you can sprinkle on more cheese, pumpkin seeds, and chile powder before baking. For the mini muffins, I baked them for 15 minutes.
The pumpkin and cheddar worked wonders together in these little guys, and the cayenne delivered a surprising hit of spice. They were great as little hors d’oeuvres with a glass of wine, and I’d like to try them too, as they were intended, as regular-size muffins for breakfast.