Ingredients: 2 sticks unsalted butter @ room temp,2 cups dark brown sugar, packed, divided,2/3 cup molasses, unsulphured,2 eggs, beaten, @ room temp,14 ounces can pumpkin (or equivalent amount cooked, pureed pumpkin),3 1/2 ounces container carrot baby food (or equivalent amount cooked, pureed carrot),3 1/2 cups all purpose flour,1/2 teaspoon salt,2 teaspoons baking soda,3 teaspoons ground cinnamon,2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg,1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or currants,1/4 cup almond slivers; walnut halves or pieces; or pecan halves,1/8 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder (smoked if you have it)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If using fresh, cooked pumpkin, strain puree for at least 30 minutes in cheesecloth or a wire sieve.
- In a standing mixer, cream the butter at medium-high speed until soft and lightened in color.
- Add molasses and 1 1/2 c. of the brown sugar, beating until combined and light in texture.
- Add the eggs, pumpkin and carrot, and mix on medium speed until blended.
- In a separate bowl or on a flexible cutting board, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Pour into wet ingredients and gently fold together, being careful not to overmix.
- Fold in the cranberries, raisins or currants.
- Using a spoon or large disher (what I used), fill muffin cups three-quarters full.
- Place three almond slivers in the middle of each muffin top, pointing up slightly in a radiating pattern. (If using walnut or pecan halves, place one at an upward angle in the middle of each muffin. If using pieces, sprinkle a small amount on each muffin.)
- In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 c. brown sugar with chipotle or cayenne powder.
- Sprinkle liberally on top of muffins.
- Bake for 12 15 minutes.
- Best if served immediately, so the topping remains crisp.