It’s hard not to notice that all of America is pumpkin spice crazy right now! I just got back from grocery shopping and I saw – are you ready for this? – pumpkin spice air freshener, pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls, pumpkin spice yogurt, pumpkin spice eggnog, pumpkin spice popcorn, pumpkin spice tea, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin spice cider, pumpkin spice ice cream, and even pumpkin spice raisins! I am not entirely opposed to pumpkin spice flavors. In fact, it’s one of my favorite flavors and scents. I even bought some pumpkin spice cream cheese that I can’t wait to try.
But I think it’s funny that the majority of the products scream “Pumpkin Spice Whatever” and then, in tiny print, “Contains no actual pumpkin.”
Well, I can promise you one thing about these muffins: they contain actual pumpkin!
I started making these a long time ago and my family loves them. We originally called them “Christmas Morning Muffins” because the kids and I would make them on Christmas Eve and we would eat them after we opened presents on Christmas Morning. The recipe makes a LOT of muffins, so we used to package them in half-dozens and take them to friends and neighbors.
I had to change the name when it became clear that I would be making these lots of times during the year and not just at Christmas. I make them all year round.
I’ve made them for my classes at school – back when I taught second grade and only had 25 students. And I’ve left them in the teachers’ lounge. They make especially sweet teacher’s gifts. Even people who don’t really like pumpkin really like these. I think the chocolate chips help curb the pumpkin-ness a little.
Point is, these are sinfully moist, perfectly sweet, and absolutely delicious.
They are, by far, my favorite pumpkin spice item!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 3 cups of white sugar
- 1 (15-oz) can of pumpkin puree – NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup of water
- 4 eggs
- 3 ½ cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- 1 ½ cups of mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 º. Place muffin liners in muffin tins and spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix in flour, about a half-cup at a time. Fold in chocolate chips.
Using a standard ice cream scoop, place one scoop of batter in each lined tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. You may have to cook a little longer if batter comes from the refrigerator.
Well Duh #1: This recipe usually makes about 36 muffins.
Well Duh #2: These are best eaten warm. If you decide to warm them in the microwave – and have used foil baking cups – be sure to remove the liners first.
Well Duh #3: If you only want to make a few muffins at a time, you can cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator. The batter will keep for up to a week.
Well Duh #4: You can freeze the muffins after baking. If you do this, I find it’s best to thaw them in the refrigerator and then warm in the microwave.
Well Duh #5: If you’re one of those super-cool people who like to make bread in metal cans for gift giving, this recipe is great for that. Just use clean, empty cans – like from canned vegetables – and be sure to remove the outside labels. Spray the inside of each can with cooking spray and then sprinkle in flour and shake the can from the side to side to coat the inside completely with flour. Pour the batter in, filling each can about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes and check for doneness with a long toothpick or skewer. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. If it comes out with lots of crumbs or wet batter, cook it for awhile longer. After the bread is done, let it cool completely. You can dress the cans up by covering them in pretty contact paper or ribbons. You’ll need to cover the open top of the can with plastic wrap first.
One of my favorite things about making these muffins is the way they make my entire house smell. Who needs a pumpkin spice candle when you’ve got the real deal – with real pumpkin spice included?