It's a typical fall day here in southern California - that is to say, hot and sunny with a cool ocean breeze blowing in from the west. Leaves are turning and falling in other parts of the country, but we're still firmly entrenched in beach weather at my house.
Still, the calendar says fall, so I asked Michael to pick up some canned pumpkin. He brought me a six-pound can. It's bigger than my head. I dug into it today and made pumpkin and red lentil soup, pumpkin chili, and these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
This pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe is based on a pumpkin bread recipe I got many years ago from Brenda, my college sweetheart's mother. She taught preschool and made pumpkin bread with her class every year. Under the ingredient list on the original recipe card I wrote "Mix everything together - no sifting." I did it that way for years and then had a bad experience with some clumps of baking soda, so now I do actually sift. But according to Brenda, it's optional.
I got a new camera last week (thank you, husband) and used it to take these photos. What do you think? I think I still need some lessons.
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar (I am addicted to Florida Crystals demerara sugar but, of course, any sugar will do)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, 2 1/2 cups sugar, vanilla, spices, and salt until everything is well combined.
Hold a sifter or fine-mesh strainer over the bowl with the pumpkin mixture. Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda to the sifter, then sift the dry ingredients over the wet. Whisk gently just until the flour mixture is incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Fill the muffin tins most of the way up, dividing the batter evenly. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Bake about 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, let the muffins rest 2 minutes, then turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.
Makes 24 muffins.