The sweltering Virginia summer heat is finally over (for the most part) and Fall has officially arrived. This is my favorite time of year, when the air become crisp, instead of moist, and the temperature cools into the 70s and 80s. This time of year, Virginia displays some of the most brilliant blue skies and if your lucky enough to take a trip into the mountains, the Autumn colors are simply amazing. And lets not forget about Pumpkin…pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies and I could go on and on. This is pumpkin season! So I couldn’t wait any longer, I just had to make something with pumpkin and so here are some delicious pumpkin muffins. They have chocolate chips in them, which my husband is happy as a clam about. Me on the other hand, think the chocolate chips take away from the wonderful pumpkin flavor. So if you are a pumpkin lover, like myself, you may want to consider substituting the chocolate chips for some chopped walnuts or pecans. Or if your loved one is a chocolate-chippaholic then the chocolate chips will be perfect
On another note, I wanted to share these videos with you. A couple of weeks ago, Joe and I went on a weekend getaway to Ocean City, Maryland to visit with family. On one evening, we had seen a fox in the dunes below the fourth floor condo we were staying at and when I got up at dawn to capture the sunrise with my camera, I was able to film a family of three foxes playing with one another. It was a magical moment to watch them play while the sun was rising. I never imagined that foxes would be living by the beach.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 12 muffins)
195 grams all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
113 grams unsalted butter (1/2 cup) (at room temperature)
200 grams sugar (1 cup)
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
180 milliliter solid packed canned pumpkin puree (3/4 cup)
175 grams semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
Preheat oven to 177 degrees C (350 degrees F). Place baking rack in the middle of oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, spices and salt, set dry ingredients aside.
Using your stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Make sure to scrape down sides of bowl as you go along. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add sifted dry ingredients and pumpkin puree. Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups evenly with batter. Place in the middle of oven and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool.
Source: Joy of Baking