Without warning, round, egg-shaped, even slightly squished orange objects are all over the place! I feel like I’m being followed and watched by them in an October sort of way. Yep, it’s pumpkin everything season.
I’m a fan of pumpkin in some things, but not others. For instance, I’m head over heels for pumpkin cheesecake, especially decked with chocolate ganache, but not so much on the whole pumpkin latte thing. Give me plain or cardamom (love, love) or hazelnut; just don’t put pumpkin in my coffee. Latte tirade over, pumpkin muffins with slivered almonds and chunks of dark chocolate are my pleasure-seeking bomb.
I have a little cookbook aptly titled “Muffins,” by Elizabeth Alston that’s been my go-to for baked treats for many years. The pages are smudged with blueberries and smears of banana from use. I used to worry about keeping stuff clean and pristine. I’m over that. I look at the splotches with high regard; the recipe was prepared and devoured by loved ones, and myself.
A few adjustments have been made to the original recipe. I now include wheat germ; I’ve cut the sugar in half, substituting brown sugar for the ubiquitous white version. They are rich and spiced with all of the requisite flavors of autumn, with the perfect crunch from the almonds, followed by bits of dark chocolate.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Muffins – Adapted from Muffins by Elizabeth Alston
- ½ cup slivered raw almonds
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup wheat germ
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain pumpkin
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup chocolate chunks
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups or use paper baking cups.
- Thoroughly mix flour, sugar, pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Break eggs into another bowl. Add pumpkin and butter, and whisk until well blended. Stir in chocolate chunks and almonds. Pour over dry ingredients and fold in with a rubber spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Scoop batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and springy to the touch in the center.
- Turn out onto a rack to cool. Make a day or two in advance for a more developed flavor.
Now I need a cup of strong coffee, swirled up with cream to go with my muffin – Missy