Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

To be honest, I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie. Neither is Jake. And every pecan pie I've had is passable, probably because it's store bought. For us, traditional Thanksgiving desserts are kind of disappointing, so we always get a Marie Calendar's Razzleberry Pie. However, Thanksgiving calls out for pumpkin. Not wanting to buck tradition we wanted to find a way to include it and pecans in our festivities. Both flavors are combined in this flavorful and rich muffin. So much better than a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie or a pumpkin pie!

Sprinkle Some Sunshine

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins- Sprinkle Some Sunshine

1 15 ounce can 100% pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips (Guittard 63% cacao)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper cups.

Bring pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and cloves to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, until puree thickens about 5 minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl & allow to cool.

In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar and molasses (tada! dark brown sugar).

Add brown sugar mixture and oil to pumpkin mixture, and mix. Add beaten eggs, and mix until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture into pumpkin mixture, mix until just combined.

Stir in chocolate chips & pecans.

Using a #20 disher, distribute the batter into prepared muffin cups, so each is 2/3 full.

Bake 13-15 minutes for  regular sized muffins and about 10 minutes for mini muffins or until wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let muffins cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, allow muffins to cool completely on wire rack. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Yield: 20 muffins

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dried Fruit and Nut Stuffing

I love Thanksgiving! Especially the stuffing (dressing). The sage! The celery! I like dried fruit and nuts, so I came up with this recipe that uses both. My favorite combination is half raisins, half dried cranberries for the fruit, and pecans for the nuts.


  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cranberries, or dried cherries, or use a mixture (chop larger fruits into small pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pound bread, sliced, dried on the counter for a few hours and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup chopped and toasted nuts, such as walnuts or pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Saute onions and celery with kosher salt. Once onions and celery are crisp-tender and slightly browned around the edges, add sage, thyme, broth, and fruit. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, until the fruit plumps up.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in bread and nuts until all the egg is absorbed. Add broth mixture and stir to combine. Put in large baking dish. Cut remaining stick of butter into small pieces and dot on top. Bake until the top is golden brown and crispy, about 40 minutes.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nutella Brownie Bites

I remember in college some guy telling me he loved nutella on his pepperoni pizza. My enjoyment does not extend to that delicacy.

Everyday there is new Nutella recipe pin on Pinterest including this photo of a recipe, but not the link. :( I hate those kind of pins. I found on this recipe on Savory Sweet Life. These little bites are delicious. I'll save them for a special occasion, since it took about half of a 26.5 jar of Nutella for only 24 mini brownies.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Put 1 cup of  Nutella and 2 eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add 10 Tbs (1/2 c & 2 Tbs)  flour and whisk until blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full). I use a #60 disher.

Sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.

Bake until a toothpick comes out with wet, gooey crumbs, 11 to 12 minutes.
Set on a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Bet I could make these with peanut butter.