Pumpkin Spice Almond Flour MuffinsHow is this muffin not a cupcake?

We know the parameters of our language: “muffin” is a bready, often savory cake; “cupcake” is a sweet, playful cake. But then gray areas will blur the whole idea of naming a cake anything…

The “Pumpkin Spice Almond Flour Muffins,” from Dishing Up the Dirt, cook into moist, marvelous cakes smelling of the spicy combo of cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves and ginger. This is a great place to put your excess pumpkin purée.

Pumpkin + chocolate chips = delicious. Again, is this a muffin?

I’m thinking the almond flour puts these cakes in a special category. Enjoy the pleasure.

PREP TIME: everything’s mixed by hand (quick), then baked for 30 minutes
spiced moistness with chocolate chips

Next time, I’ll make the “Sweet Potato Soup,” from the November/December 2015 issue of Cook’s Illustrated (recipe below). Come back to my site next week to see what happens.

Sweet Potato Soup
Cook’s Illustrated, November/December 2015
Serves 4 to 6
To highlight the earthiness of the sweet potatoes, we incorporate a quarter of the skins into the soup. In addition to the chives, serve the soup with one of our suggested garnishes (recipes follow). The garnishes can be prepared during step 1 while the sweet potatoes stand in the water.

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 shallot, sliced thin
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4¼ cups water
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced ¼-inch thick, ¼ of peels reserved
1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
½ tsp. cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Minced fresh chives

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallot and thyme and cook until shallot is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add water, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Remove pot from heat, add sweet potatoes and reserved peels, and let stand uncovered for 20 minutes.

Add sugar, vinegar, 1½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until potatoes are very soft, about 10 minutes.

Discard thyme sprigs. Working in batches, process soup in blender until smooth, 45 to 60 seconds. Return soup to clean pot. Bring to simmer over medium heat, adjusting consistency if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topping each portion with sprinkle of chives.

Candied Bacon Bits (garnish)
Makes about ¼ cup

4 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tsp. dark brown sugar
½ tsp. cider vinegar

Cook bacon in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and well rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet and discard fat. Return bacon to skillet and add brown sugar and vinegar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until bacon is evenly coated. Transfer to plate in single layer. Let bacon cool completely.

Maple Sour Cream (garnish)
Makes 1/3 cup

1/3 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

Combine ingredients in bowl.