Monday, October 13, 2014

Hungry Runner: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Admission is the first step towards recovery, right?  Well, here goes.  My name is Kate, and I am addicted to muffins, especially of the miniature variety.  Ever since finding two mini muffin tins at a recent garage sale, I've been cultivating all sorts of miniature masterpieces.  Mini muffins are a bit high maintenance, but I've discovered that my kids will eat almost anything when delivered in the shape of a mini muffin.  And I can't say that I blame them.  Wee-sized food is just too cute not to eat!

Last week, thanks to our CSA share, I had butternut and acorn squash on hand, a muffin craving, and a quest to combine them.  When I discovered this pumpkin chocolate chip mini muffin recipe from the Minimalist Baker, I knew that I'd found a winner.  I decided that my squash could easily replace the pumpkin and gave the recipe a try.

Before I could make my muffins, I had to roast my squash in the oven.  To do so, I cut them in half, removed the seeds, and placed them face down on a greased pan.  I baked them at 350* for about 45 minutes.  After they cooled, I scooped the flesh out of the skins and used my stand mixer to puree them.  My squash roasted, cooled, and pureed, I was ready to tackle the muffins.  I tweaked the original recipe based on my pantry stock and my baking preferences, so my recipe looked like this:

1 egg
1/2 cup roasted squash puree (I used a combination of butternut and acorn squash)
1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup agave
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (mini chips are a must for mini muffins!)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375* and grease muffin tins.
2.  Combine egg, squash, milk, brown sugar, agave, oil, and vanilla.  Once combined, add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir until uniformly mixed.
3.  Slowly add flours to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
4.  Add chocolate chips and mix just until the chips are evenly distributed.
5.  Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling them almost to the top.  Add an extra mini chocolate chip or two to the top for presentation.
6.  Bake for 18-20 minutes for mini muffins or 22-26 minutes for full sized muffins.
7.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

I am not any sort of a photographer, so don't judge this muffin by its looks.
It is moist, chewy, and amazing, I promise.

I'm pleased to say that they turned out beautifully, as evidenced by the fact that my double batch barely lasted three days.  These muffins made a great and quick post-run snack.  They are a wonderful fall treat and a fun way to use some of our winter squash.  Do you have any favorite ways to prepare winter squash?  Do you have a snack obsession on par with my mini muffin addiction?