Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

On the first day of October it only seems fitting to post a recipe for pumpkin muffins...

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Whenever I make up a new recipe it is always a messy process. The first step is always the idea that acts as a catalyst for the rest. In this case the trigger was pumpkin. As the chill in the air gets stronger I always start craving pumpkin everything. It doesn't help matters that Starbucks incessantly advertises the pumpkin spice latte, or that the scent of pumpkin bagels can be detected wafting halfway across campus, or that people insist on pinning every pumpkin recipe that comes under detection. Regardless of how the idea came to me, come it did.

The next step is generally in what form do I want to eat the craving (sometimes this is linked to the first step, as in "I am craving tomato soup," rather than simply tomato). I decided muffins would be the best mode of consumption. Muffins are compact on-the-go type foods. Sometimes you need that kind of thing around the house.

Then comes the Googling and the comparing and the improvising. I tend to have about 13 web pages open along with at least two cookbooks on my lap. "A cup and a half of oil; that's outrageous! I'll need to reduce that, Maple syrup? Nope don't have any of that, I'll use brown sugar... What's the conversion factor again? Baking powder, baking soda, salt... How can I slip some flax seed in? Can I use almond milk and yogurt instead of milk?"

It's a nightmare, honestly. But, it's definitely rewarding when something wonderful comes out of all this hard work. Luckily this is one of those times. This is what my recipe card looked like after all of that.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

I wanted to use flax seed to give them some more nutrition. Flax seed can increase the fiber, unsaturated healthy fats, phytoestrogens and omega-3 content when added to foods.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Flax seed

 In a medium-sized mixing bowl add 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup flax seed, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and a pinch of salt.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

I wanted a lot of spice flavor so for the spices I used cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. I prefer the flavor of ceylon "true" cinnamon because it is sweeter than the cassia variety (most of the store bought cinnamon is cassia). Cinnamon is my favorite flavor, in Maggie's world, we look for excuses to add cinnamon.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ceylon "True" Cinnamon

To the flour mixture add, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin is the best pumpkin puree out there. I'm not usually able to tell the difference between store-brand and name-brand products so I tend to stick with store-brand because they are cheaper. In this case there is no comparison. I am generally disappointed with the quality of the store-brand pumpkin purees.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Pour the entire 15-ounce can of pumpkin into a larger mixing bowl. (Be sure to remove any large metal items that fall in).

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Add 3/4 cup brown sugar to the bowl.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Next add 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Then an egg...

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Mix it all together then add the dry ingredients.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Whisk together all the ingredients until just mixed.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Then add about 1 1/2 cups of your mix-ins (I used 3/4 cup walnuts and 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips).

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Spoon into greased muffin tins. Each cup should be between 1/2 and 2/3 full. (I hope this picture doesn't give you vertigo. I've rotated it every possible way, it's just a weird angle).

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Cool in pan for ten minutes then remove and continue cooling on a wire rack.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Yummy! Hello autumn; I welcome you with open arms...

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

...as long as I can eat one of these everyday for the duration of the season. Please and thank you!