Thanksgiving is easily my favorite holiday. You can take your gifts, your cases of champagne, fireworks or heart-shaped chocolates. Give me a month of menu planning, turkey brining, and pie as far as the eye can see and I’m in heaven.
And while some people have some crazy plan of not eating AT ALL on Thanksgiving day in order to save room for all the food, the thought of all that deliciousness makes me hungry. So I usually make a batch of pumpkin muffins the night before, while I’m getting my pie crusts together. There’s nothing more festive than watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade snuggled up on the couch with your family while chowing down on buttery, cinnamon-y muffins that are a perfect prelude to pumpkin pie. I love this recipe from a battered copy of Gourmet, which I bring out each year even though I pretty much know the recipe by heart. It’s the perfect combination of spiced and sweet; sometimes, I mix in raisins or dried cranberries, and occasionally I’ll top the batter with roasted pumpkin seeds for a little crunch.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/3 cup vegetable or another neutral cooking oil
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon