Monday, January 4, 2010

Grandma Neive's Pumpkin Chocolate Chim Muffins

With the advent of a new year comes the opportunity to eat better, and retain the habit for more than 2 days, or 2 hours depending on your will power. I know for a fact that there are a lot of folks trying to cut back on sugar, so I wanted to show how to bake with a sugar free substitute called xylitol. It's calorie free and more than 99% natural. It bakes almost exactly like sugar, but doesn't add calories or fat.
Don't use it for dog biscuits though. Who makes their own dog food?! I need a good recipe. Our Dotson named Karmel is insane, and I'm pretty sure it's her diet and nothing to do with living under the same roof as a zany chef who sneezes whenever she enters the room. That would give anyone a complex...yes, a complex worthy of several hundreds of hours of good psychological therapy. The dog shrink is so glad I'm here with Karmel, I'm sure. Random...whenever I open the front door Karmel makes a mad dash for the opening, and then if she makes it out, she's gone for several hours. Pretty sure there is a dog shrink in the alley who is giving her all kinds of advice on how to deal with me? Can you see that beagle sucking on a stooge shaped chew toy asking my dog to tell him about the human mother figure in "that house". Twitching Karmel with glazed over insane eyes sucking her paw and pulling on her own ear. Yea, that about covers the relationship I have with the dog.

The real test was seeing if I could use the xylitol in a real recipe that we had enjoyed for years.
Enters, my mother's recipe for pumpkin muffins. I have loved the fluffy little pumpkin nibbles since I was a little brat...I mean kid. I wasn't a brat. I have not achieved the past tense yet. So, here's the recipe my mom passed on to me:

Neive's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 1/2 cup whole wheat all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (or today xylitol)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Wise Woman of The ... East Spice Blend, or 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup thick pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup milk or soy milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips ( I use sugar free chocolate bars, chopped)

Sweet Caramel Sprinkle (from Pampered Chef)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, xylitol, and chocolate. In a medium separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, egg, and vegetable oil until the egg is totally broken up. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Do not over-mix!

Stir until just combined. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Like my bootie.
Shameless product plug. I don't work for Pampered Chef, but I love the cinnamon plus and the sweet caramel sprinkles. I sniff the bottles on a regular basis...which explains a lot of my brain damage.
The sprinkles on top of the muffins right before baking, add this caramel crunch that makes my heart just flutter. I've threatened to put the sprinkles in my bath water just so I could smell like that bottle. Would it be weird to say I should have a jar at the baby changing table for stinky diaper neutralization powder? Is that taking it too far? Well, I guess it's probably good that I don't have a baby then. Okay, either grease the muffin tin, or put parchment cupcake liners in the muffin slot thing. What do they call those? Cup holes? You know what I'm talking about right? In the crevice shaped like a muffin that's attached to your pan. Gosh, we are way too technical today. Yields one dozen, so just divide the batter between the cup thing-a-ma-jigs.
Bake in 375 degree oven 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Serve warm or cold...but I suggest serving them warm with a good book and a cup of cocoa.

There you go.


Doug said...

Hi Tess,

We fed this to our dogs for years:

They never complained.


Chef Tess said...

Doug! Thank you!

mlebagley said...

Stop! you are making me drool as I sit here in my sterile office I can almost imagine this puff of pumpkin essence stalking down the hallway seeking me out! And I want it to find me! Where does one find this xerbitol sugar stuff? I might just try the recipe with regular sugar since there is so little of it anyways... and chocolate chips. Yummy! The 'new years' girl in me will NOT cut this muffin in half (fresh and warm from the oven) and insert a big pat of real butter in the middle, slap the top back on and open only when the buttery goo has infiltrated the first inch or two of the muffin. I will not do that (but I will want to!)!