I took the coolest Zoom class last night with cookbook author, Alison Roman. Alison wrote two books that I am very fond of, “Dining In” and “Nothing Fancy” and her style of cooking is casual, mostly about entertaining with friends, but great tested recipes that actually work. However, it’s her writing voice that really makes her stand-out from other cooks because she’s honest, funny and really raw about the industry. On the call, she opened up about how she started in food, and worked at numerous restaurants in Los Angeles, before heading to New York to work at Bon Appetit Magazine. Alison talked about the industry, and how she recipe tested for an entire year, before actually getting to write any of her own recipes at the magazine. I walked away from the call feeling inspired, and encouraged to keep writing this blog, even though some days, I’ll admit, it’s hard to find things that I feel are interesting, and useful enough for home cooks. My love for cooking, I hope keeps people engaged and I encourage all of you to continue to ask questions of me, and offer any suggestions about topics that interest you.
Muffins, muffins, muffins – well, it there really that much to say about muffins? Yes, I think there is. Finding a good recipe that has flavor and doesn’t taste like a hockey puck, nor a slice of wedding cake, does matter. Getting the ingredients, mixing method and the right temperature in baking, all play into a great muffin recipe. Also, let’s talk ovens. Electric convection ovens are 5 to 10 degrees hotter than gas ovens. So, in my recipes I adjust the temperature downward, so the standard gas oven crowd doesn’t burn the doo doo out of their baked goods. That being said, always always…look at your muffins as they bake, and never set a timer, and walk away when baking.
Pumpkin is my favorite fall flavor, but I know some of you find it challenging, especially when served overly spiced. This muffin recipe does have a little bit of warming spices for balance, but it’s not going to take you to pumpkin spice hell, like with some other treats, and coffee drinks. The chocolate chips are a good addition because why else? It’s a dose of chocolate, and that’s a good thing. The combination of the two make a nice breakfast, and a good way to start a morning, or a weekend for that matter.
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chunks
(Makes 12 Muffins)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray or oil.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla on medium speed for 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl whisk together, flour, soda, powder, and spices. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix on low speed until combined.
- Stir chocolate chips in by hand and scoop batter into muffin cups filling two-thirds up.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove and let cool 10 minutes in pan before removing. Enjoy!