I am sitting at my desk and it doesn’t actually matter, if I look to my right or left, there are piles of papers and notebooks everywhere. The stacks continue behind me on my bookshelf and even on the floor. All these pages are about food, they contain ideas, tips and tricks, but mostly recipes. I started to index them by title without success and anyway I ended up with the same stacks in a different order, just another picture of the same madness. Some pages are ripped out of magazines, some are given to me by friends and some are recipes “in progress”. Recipe testing is one of my favorite things, when I put on my apron and turn on the oven, I feel like a weird scientist in a lab. Most of the time I use up an ingredient that’s at risk to go bad like a basket full of apples. I try to pick a direction, am I going for apple pie or cake? Or apple butter? What else should come in it? I try to imagine what the flavor will be like. Do I need more almonds or should I rather go for coconut flakes? I make my notes on a sheet of paper and create another addition to the paper stack party.
Most of the time it takes several efforts until I come out of my kitchen with a masterpiece. Right now I can see a recipe scribbled on a crumpled piece of paper, the title on top says: rice cake. I had big hopes for that, Mr. F is a sucker for rice pudding and I thought I would have invented something innovative while combining rice pudding and cake. But he said something like: …have had better cakes before. That’s his polite way to say: It sucked really bad. He was right, no doubt about that.
Last week I fished this recipe for pumpkin spice muffins out of one of those paper piles. I had been looking forward to this since the days are getting cooler and fall appears from day to day. I made this muffins for the first time two years ago. This recipe was a success at the first attempt, this happens once in a blue moon. It has all I was craving/looking for: fall flavors, pumpkin with spices, a healthy spin with whole wheat flour, nuts and chocolate. They are easy put together, tastes great for a couple of days without going stale (even better the next day), they are incredible for breakfast and I am always happy to find one in my bag for a little snack. The flavor combination of the spices are maybe a little more cinnamony as usually, because I like it that way. You can mix some more of the pumpkin spice and keep it on hand for cakes, lattes etc.
- 200 g / 7 oz. whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 150 g / 5.3 oz. granulated sugar + 1 Tbsp. for topping
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 245 g / 8.6 oz. pumpkin puré (about 1 cup/half of a can)
- 110 g / 3.9 oz. coconut oil, very soft
- or same amount unsalted butter, melted, cooled (1 stick)
- 2 large eggs
- 70 g / 2.5 oz. chopped pecan nuts + 1 Tbsp. for topping
- 100 g / 3.5 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
- Line your 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners, preheat your oven to 175 C / 350 F.
- Measure and stir dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, add wet ingredients and stir well with a whisk. Pour wet into dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Stir in pecan nuts and chocolate morsels.
- Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sugar and pecan nuts.
- Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before you move them from the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool completely.