the beatles had it wrong.

Happiness is a warm muffin. Specifically this one, made in honor of fall and to heal all my hung over Halloweeners who caroused a bit too hard last night. (I personally blew it and fell asleep at 9 PM.)

Honey Crisp apples are easy to find in any green market around these parts, and add a delightful warm sweet-tart little crunch against the soft, dense pumpkin crumbs.

(Gluten-Free) Pumpkin Honey-Crisp Muffins w/ Maple Butter

1/2 C brown rice flour
1/2 C cornstarch
1 C gluten-free flour mix (like Bob's Red Mill)
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
2/3 C dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt
1/3 C butter, softened OR unsweetened applesauce
1 C canned pumpkin puree--not pumpkin pie mix
2 eggs
1/2 tsp maple extract (optional)
1 Honey Crisp apple, diced

Sift and mix dry ingredients. Chop Honey Crisp into adorable little cubes, place in a bowl and drizzle maple extract over so it soaks in. In a separate bowl mix stir wet ingredients, then add to dry, making sure not to overmix. Work in apple/extract duo and spoon batter into greased or lined muffin tin, filling almost to the brim. Bake for 25 minutes at 350F or until you stab one and your stabbing mechanism comes out clean. Cut 'em open and slather with maple butter immediately after baking for a piping hot pumpkin treat.

Makes 12 muffins.

Maple Butter

1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened for maximum mushability
1/4 C maple syrup (I used Grade A Dark Amber because that's what was in my fridge)

Smash butter with a fork until it's soft and really malleable then add maple syrup and beat the hell out of it. I'm like insanely buff (aka too poor to buy any kitchen appliances) but if you're not looking for a workout whip it like crazy with an electric mixer. Spread on EVERYTHING.

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