Color. That is the first thing that comes into mind when one thinks of autumn. Hues of vibrant oranges, brilliant reds, and earthy browns blend with the yellow shades of the season. The culinary weathervane shifts accordingly as the chill in the air signals a succession of changes in the way we eat.
I love this change of seasons. It's what dictates what I will cook. I think of it pretty much in the same way I think of fashion. On warm days I opt for lighter clothing and thus, lighter food. Not now. These days, as the temperature begins to dip, I crave for warmer, richer dishes. It's this symbiotic relationship between food and temperature that inspires me the most.
All this to say that autumn is the season that makes me yearn for warm soups and deliciously tender stews, for fruit pies embellised with sweet spices, and for freshly baked goods. Here, I offer you a recipe for fragrant muffins that will help you change gears this season. Come on...bake a batch, close your eyes, and let yourself step into fall.
Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 large egg
1 cup cooked pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. In another bowl, whisk together egg, pumpkin puree, milk, white sugar, brown sugar, and oil, until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and, using a spatula, stir until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter into prepared muffin cups; top with pumpkin seeds, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of muffins comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before removing muffins from tins. Makes 10 muffins.
©Copyright Sandra A. Gutierrez, 2010; All Rights Reserved. No part of this article or any of the photographs on this blog can be copied or published without express written consent of the author.