Friday, September 28, 2012

A Hello and a Recipe

In my life, I've come to realize that there are multiple ways of making decisions.

There are some decisions you undertake knowing the results will be...debatable.
Then there are some decisions you make knowing the results should be unambiguously wonderful.

This blog falls under the first. One night of 2am insomnia and a suggestion planted in my head, and voila. So hello. Welcome. We shall see how this goes.

The following recipe definitively, unequivocally was the second.

Last week we got our first taste of fall weather. Blissfully breezy and sweat-free, everyone planted themselves outdoors. Though we've since drifted back into the 90s, it was enough to get us craving all things autumn. Naturally, this includes the yearly rash of pumpkin goods.

Now, I've never been pumpkin's number 1 fan (with the exception of carving...I do love a good pumpkin carving). Not that I have anything against it, it was just never at the top of my To-Do/Cook/Eat/Savor list. However, in February when I first got brave enough to try my hand at gluten-free baking, I saw a suggestion that baked goods with strong fruit/vegetable elements were an easy transition for taste.
Thus, the relationship was set.
I broke out my neighbor's beloved pumpkin bread recipe and spread some (mostly successful) pumpkin love.

Since then, that recipe's been broken out fairly regularly as it rests well within my comfort zone (this gf baking thing is still very new and terrifying) and has fans gluten-free and non alike, but this weekend I decided to venture out with our newly budding tryst into fall-hood. As I'm awfully fond of someone who's very fond of pumpkin, and as he was in for a visit, I decided to stay within this realm while trying something new...and thus the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffin was born.

I adapted this recipe to suit my craving (and curiosity).
I've kept what remained of my batch of muffins stored in a plastic bag in my fridge and have been rationing them out for breakfast over the week with the delicious plums that are in season. I'm already a little sad thinking of missing these beauts next week...

(Gluten Free) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • approx. 1 5/6 c all purpose gluten free flour blend (I tend to use Bob's Red Mill because it's easiest for me to find)
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 c canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie--if this is all you can find, skip/modify adding the above cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg as it's preseasoned)
  • 1/3 c olive oil (butter should work here, too, though I haven't tried it)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c vanilla almond milk
  • approx. 1 T honey
  • 1/2 c (heaping) chocolate chips
**Note: if not making gf, skip the xantham gum. You may choose to omit the almond flour as well, though I like the warmth and nuttiness it brings to baked goods. If you're curious and want to try it out, I've had luck finding Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour at the Wal-Mart (on the baking aisle, with the gf products) and Whole Foods nearby (as well as almond meal on the bulk aisle).

Preheat oven to 350 and line/grease a 12-muffin pan. Stir the dry ingredients together (note that brown sugar and pumpkin count as wet here). Add in the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips...I personally think a little extra never hurts. Spoon into the pan until mostly full (slightly less so if you're using wheat flour as this will rise more).
Bake 20-25 minutes (mine took about 25) or until a toothpick can be removed from the center cleanly. Cool. Makes 12 muffins.