Fall Favorites: Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
With the arrival of fall, my thoughts turn to cool, crisp mornings, fields full of pumpkins, the smell of a crackling fire and the taste of hot apple cider. This time of year often causes us to reflect on happy times. It’s always interesting to me how our senses ignite memories. Memories that take us back to a single, meaningful experience. The senses of smell and taste, in particular, tend to evoke the strongest memories for me. The smells of freshly cut hay and buckets of Dad’s ripened tomatoes, or the taste of Mom’s homemade Thanksgiving dressing. These smells and tastes take me right back to my childhood. It’s such a visceral experience. I think that’s one reason we enjoy the seasonal routines of planting gardens, visiting a pumpkin patch or preparing and eating a holiday feast. The sights, smells and tastes associated with these activities bring back a familiar comfort.
So, here’s the thing. With the many signs of fall, including pumpkins appearing at the local farmers’ market, I remembered one of my family’s favorite recipes: Spiced pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. They always remind me of the season and that everything is right with the world–at least for a little while. I hope you try these muffins and like them enough to add to your fall favorites, as well–maybe even creating a happy memory in the process. Enjoy!
Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins:
*Use organic ingredients when possible
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon curry
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup pumpkin (half of a 1-pound can)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 1/2 tablespoons of crystallized ginger chips
In a large bowl thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, spices, soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl combine the eggs, pumpkin and butter; whisk until blended. Pour over the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the chocolate and crystallized ginger chips. Spoon the batter into greased muffin cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack or plate. Store in an airtight container and keep 1 or 2 days. Best if served warm.