Pumpkin Chocolate Chmelt Muffins


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We just took our kids to play in the snow for the first time. Before now, they’d scooped up some melting snow in Yosemite National Park or driven past snow-capped mountains in the far distance. But this year we finally decided to show our kids the real deal. My husband and I both grew up in Pennsylvania where snowball fights, snowman contests, snow angels and sledding were commonplace. Of course as we grew older, shoveling and sitting in your car for 15 minutes with the defrost blasting before you could drive anywhere became commonplace as well. But back to my kids… it was about time they got to experience first hand what all the hype is about.

And let me tell you… they LOVED it. I got to see my most reserved kid who never wants to try anything new, hop onto a sled and zoom down a hill so fast that she totally ate it at the bottom. And yet she got to her feet, screamed a scream of pure joy and yelled, “That was AWESOME!” I got to see my typically awkward kid who trips over her own feet throw snowballs with such terrifying accuracy that we were all fighting over who got to be on her team. And I got to see my littlest kid toddle over the snow like a jet-puffed marshmallow in his oversized coat with his oversized mittens and snow bib, rockin’ his hot pink snow boots (hey, they were the only ones his size at the consignment shop). That image alone was worth everything.

This colorful description of our trip to the snow holds relevance for this blog post, I promise. You see, up until this trip, our kids’ knowledge of what it’s like to play in the snow came solely from a book they love called Snow Day by Lynn Plourde. This adorable book has the best descriptions, written with made-up words and a cadence characteristic of the way children speak and experience their world. This book has become a family favorite and my eldest even packed it into her suitcase for our trip to the snow just so we could read it that evening and compare our actual experience to Plourde’s story.

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And so one of our favorite lines in this book is where Plourde writes about plumpy pumpkin muffins with butter chunks that turn to butter “chmelts.” I just love that. So when upon our return to the Bay Area I was looking for something warm, gooey and comforting to bake that would remind us of our holiday adventure to the snow, I came up with these Pumpkin Chocolate Chmelt Muffins.

Here’s what you’ll need to bring some chmelty goodness to your kitchen:

  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 flax eggs (make a flax egg by whisking together 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) Earth Balance buttery stick, melted
  • 6 ounces vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your muffin tins with cups. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

In another bowl, add the two flax eggs, pumpkin and and Earth Balance and with an electric mixer, beat until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and continue to beat. Turn off the mixer and gently fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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pumpkinchocomuffins2Happy eating!

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