Just because fall is over and I find myself in the midst of another classic Wisconsin winter is no excuse to take a break from my signature Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. Like many of my favourite baked goods, I’ve adapted a recipe from Bunner’s, a fabulous vegan and gluten-free bakery in downtown Toronto. I love their recipes because they are all egg and nut free. However, being that I’m far from vegan and not gluten-free, I’ve taken it upon myself to make some substitutions and personalize the recipe. While it may sound like this recipe is another unclean pastry, it is actually whole wheat, cholesterol free, and essentially fat free (aside from the chocolate).
Add the whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, flax seed, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are combined. Feel free to experiment with the amounts of cinnamon and ginger based on your personal preference. If ginger is too strong in general, a good a substitute is Penzey’s Pumpkin Pie Spice.
In a smaller bowl, add the pumpkin, milk, yogurt, and molasses. Mix until combined. If it’s January and your molasses is too cold to pour (or you just need a substitute), pure maple syrup is a milder, delicious option.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix everything until there are no clumps of flour, but be sure not to over mix. Then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour. A few minutes before the hour is up, start preheating the oven at 425°F and line a muffin pan with 10-12 muffin liners, depending on how big you want to make the muffins.
When the batter is chilled, spoon it into the muffin cups. In order to get bigger, puffier muffins, fill the cups to the top. If you prefer smaller muffins and more of them, only fill the tins 2/3 full. When the oven is preheated, place them in the middle of the top rack. Bake for about six minutes. When you see them rising, decrease the temperature to 400°F and bake for another 8-10 minutes. If you use silicone muffin liners, you may need to bake them longer. When a toothpick comes out clean (with the exception of chocolate), they are done. Let them cool for about 15 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack.
Enjoy with maple ice wine tea, hot chocolate, or apple cider!
1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. Penzeys Chinese Cassia Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger or 1 tbsp. Penzeys Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/2 tsp. ground flax seed
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses
1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Mix all the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Let the batter chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight. This will allow them to get puffier.
- Towards the end of the hour, start preheating the oven at 425° and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
- When the batter is chilled, evenly distribute the batter between the muffin cups. If you want bigger muffins, distribute the batter between 10 cups rather than 12.
- Bake for seven minutes at 425°.
- When the muffins start rising, turn the oven down to 400° and bake for another 10-12 minutes.
- Test them with a toothpick to see when they are done.
- Let them cool for about 15 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.