Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

This recipe makes me two pans of muffins, I usually mix it up as one pan of 12 regular size muffins, and one pan of 24 mini muffins, for the mini muffins I do not mix the chocolate into the batter, I push one chocolate chip down into the center, and stick one right on top, minimizes the damage a 2 year old can do to my living room 🙂

Ingredients:
3 Cups Flour
3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (this is a complete guestimation, I don’t measure this, I just dump some in the bowl, so experiment with how much you like and go with it)
1 can pumpkin (found in the baking aisle by the pie fillings)
2 sticks butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
1 bag dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Set to the side the chocolate chips
Mix together the dry ingredients
Add all wet ingredients and mix thoroughly
Add the chocolate chips to the batter and mix in
Divide the batter into a muffin pan, either greased or lined with paper, I find greased works better, the paper seems to mess with the consistency. Fill the cups to nearly full.
Bake at 350 degree until nice and brown, baking time is 20 minutes for mini muffins, 25 minutes for regular muffins.

If you want to make banana muffins the recipe is the exact same, subtract the pumpkin and the pumpkin pie spice and add in 6 large over-ripe bananas smashed up. You can add variety to your hearts content as well, different types of chocolate, nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, the varieties are endless. Raisins and cranberries will slightly mess with the moisture but not horribly so.

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Homemade Granola Bars Recipe

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oat flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (I use sunflower seeds, raisins and dried cranberries)
1/3 cup sunflower seed butter (optional – you can use peanut butter or any preferred nut butter, but I need to not send my boss into anaphylactic shock if I eat these at my desk right outside his office)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides.
Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, honey and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and sunflower seed/peanut/etc butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. I find wearing a pair of non-latex non-powdered medical gloves works great for mixing and spreading the mixture, lets you really get in there without spending the rest of the day picking goop out from under your nails.

Bake the bars for about 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges, I like to let it get a little color on the tops too.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack.

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