A Squared: Fall Baking: Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Baking: Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

In keeping with my recent theme of fall being my favorite time of year, today seemed like a great day to break out one of my favorite fall recipes.  I don't often bake, but when I do this is one of my go to recipes.  Randomly, I first made this recipe in Home Ec class in 8th grade and up until trying these muffins I had never liked anything pumpkin flavored-- even pumpkin pie.  Now it is probably my favorite flavor-- so much so that we even had a layer of pumpkin cake with cinnamon ginger buttercream in our wedding cake.  Delicious!

Since the first try I have made this recipe dozens of times.  It is an especially big hit with my family around the holidays. Over the years I have continued to tweak it to make it a little healthier than the original--which wasn't that unhealthy to begin with (compared to most muffin recipes). 

It's a favorite fall food in our house and we hope you enjoy it too!  What are some of your favorite foods to enjoy in the fall?




Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup applesauce *To keep it healthy use the natural unsweetened kind-- I prefer Mott's Natural
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup solid pack pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat sugar, butter, and applesauce until creamy and light (about 5 minutes).  Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat.  Add pumpkin and mix until smooth.

Combine flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Stir into pumpkin mixture and combine until smooth.

Add chocolate chips, orange zest, juice, and nuts.  Stir well and pour into paper muffins cups or greased loaf pan.  For muffins, bake for 35-40 minutes.  For a loaf, back 60-65 minutes.  Use a toothpick to test doneness.  Remove and let muffins cool slightly and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  The recipe makes approximately 14-16 muffins or one loaf.

The muffins also freeze very well.

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