It’s fall somewhere. Not here. But somewhere. (Although, every once in a while, a cool breeze comes along and I get that festive feel that comes with the changing seasons.) So when Frank picked up a can of pumpkin and held it towards me like he was waiting for me to pounce, I realized that I needed to embrace the idea of fall and oblige.
And you know what, it worked. There’s nothing like homemade baked things and the smell of pumpkin pie spice to make one realize that the season of festivities is upon us. Our holidays this year are more likely to involve beaches than snow, but there are some fall things in which it seems appropriate to indulge. At the top of that list? Pumpkin.
I started the weekend out by looking for a pumpkin muffin recipe, feeling encouraged by the fact that the mere use of the term “muffin” would make these appropriate for breakfast. I have news for you. Pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cupcakes. It’s all a façade – they’re pretty much interchangeable. And when you throw chocolate chips in the mix, all bets are off.
You’ve never had pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips?
Well then, I insist that you try these. My mom makes a stellar pumpkin chocolate chip “muffin”, and now I can’t eat an ordinary old plain pumpkin muffin without the sense that something is missing. The combination is perfect for October. The pumpkin aroma is the embodiment of fall, but that tiny kick of chocolate is a reminder of the best thing about October.
The chance to gorge on chocolate on the last day of the month.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and pastry flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, honey, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Add the chocolate chips. Whisk just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes for regular muffins (12 minutes for mini muffins) or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean. (Note: keep a close eye on these so that they do not over-bake or they tend to lose their smooth, soft texture.)
- Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack and serve.