Saturday, September 8

Day 252: Pumpkin Muffins (with a Secret Special Ingredient)

Today began my season long love affair with pumpkin. I asked my husband this morning if he wanted a) pumpkin muffins, b) pumpkin pancakes or c) a chanterelle mushroom omelett for breakfast. His reply: "They all sound good," said through a look of fear of picking the wrong one. Smart guy. "A" was obviously the right choice. At least today. So this explains why, several hours later, my hair has the lovely, rich fragrance of pumpkin and spice. I'll never wash my hair again! Um... that was a joke. Obviously the pumpkin scent will fade and we all know what is left after that. Not pumpkin, of course.

There is almost nothing better than a weekend morning that starts out with pumpkin muffins. Unless those pumpkin muffins include dark chocolate chips. The first year I lived in Berkeley I woke up on the morning of my birthday and decided that I would treat myself to something from the bakery around the corner that I'd been wanting to try. Being born in the fall is a special kind of birthday treat on its own and especially when said bakery had the most wonderful pumpkin chocolate chunk madeleines. I had never had pumpkin with chocolate and at first I was a bit leery. I mean, I didn't want anything to ruin my birthday pumpkin treat. Well, there was no need for such worry. It was love at first bite. The madeleine was a sort of a cross between a muffin and a moist cookie and possibly one of the most delectable birthday treats I've ever had.

So back to today and with that memory in mind I made a full batch, which according to the recipe makes three loaves. I ended up with twelve muffins, four with dark chocolate chips in them, and one loaf, also with dark chocolate chips. Well, today is not my birthday but it felt like a treat to have these delicious pumpkin muffins for breakfast. It is Saturday after all. And just in case you are wondering I had one of each, a plain one and a chocolate one. Divine!

For any of you who are feeling inspired, you can find the recipe at, or click on the name below in orange.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Changes that I made to the recipe:

Reduced the sugar by one cup and used half white and half dark brown
Added a half teaspoon of vanilla extract to the wet ingredients
And I probably used rounded rather than level spoons of the spices ;-)
Then if you are feeling extra adventurous, add a cup of dark chocolate chips. You will not be disappointed.

A simple perfect pumpkin muffin... 

Here is the loaf with dark chocolate chips... mighty fine looking if I may say so myself...

And just because I felt like sharing, here are a few photos from my day...

Purple carrots that I saw and had to buy. I have had purple potatoes but not purple carrots. Fun! 

This pretty leaf made its way into my husband's cargo bicycle during our ride today. I decided to take it home with us. :-)

 Fika at Skåningen kaffe... just a few carbs before our 42 km bike ride tomorrow!

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