Chocolate & Pumpkin & Spice

Everyone, it seems, is talking and writing about every variety of pumpkin bread possible, which they have baked and posted recipes for, and the (pumpkin?) seed sprouted in my mind and bore fruit last night, when I put all these ideas together and came up with my own batch that was pretty much perfect. My thanks to all of you who made my mouth water and my imagination start working.

Pumpkin & Chocolate Chip Muffins
This made 30 smallish muffins and two mini-loaves

3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 29-oz can pumpkin (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips
3 cups toasted walnuts, chopped

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Using electric mixer, beat pumpkin and sugars until blended. Gradually beat in eggs, vanilla, oil and ginger. Stir in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately in 3 additions. Stir in nuts and chips last.

Fill lined muffin cups 3/4 full with batter; likewise mini loaf pans that have been greased or lined with parchment.

Bake muffins 30-45 minutes depending on size of cup and whether your oven is convection, until a toothpick comes out clean — though it can be hard to tell with all that chocolate in there! Bake the mini loaves about an hour. Cool in pans.

Upon eating the first muffin I thought I hadn’t put in enough spice to suit, but today they were the perfect combination of tender and moist, with lots of soft dark chocolate not quite melted in, and dreamy flavor, probably just the right amount of spice. I wouldn’t mind if they had still less sugar, but I’ll be cautious about changing that ingredient too much and maybe not liking the resulting change in the crumb texture.

I took this recipe at epicurious.com for my jumping-off place, after reading all the reviews that told the many ways people changed the original. I mostly combined many of their changes to customize mine; and I was in such a hurry to get my loaves and muffins done before my bedtime, I forgot to take a picture. This tiger does have something to do with the recipe, because he was carved from a pumpkin by Pippin some years ago.

After B. and I enjoyed my creations with breakfast, most of the remainder went into the freezer to bring out when there are more people around to enjoy them. I hope that will be soon, but I’ve had my fix, which I think will keep me for a while.

7 thoughts on “Chocolate & Pumpkin & Spice

  1. Ohhhhh, Gretchen, yum. We get a pathetic selection of squash here (I miss America so much in the fall) but I did see some pumpkins yesterday so I might try this. Do you think it would work with GF flour?

    I quite often think I've put less spice in things and it's nearly always better the next day. I nearly threw out a gingerbread once which turned out to be the best gingerbread ever.

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  2. Oh, how I wish I could pop in for a slice of that! I did enjoy making pumpkin/choc chip bread last week, but the kids wouldn't go for putting nuts or ginger in, so it was a bit bland. I'm glad you're happily cooking!

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