I'm happy when friends ask me to come up with a recipe and when that recipe turns out, I'm even happier. LOL! A wonderful woman I met in Kentucky, who was the director of the Providence Montessori School where Ari attended, wrote to me and asked for a pumpkin muffin recipe that uses molasses and less sugar, but includes chocolate chips. Since I've made this Pumpkin and sharing our gifts month in honor of Kelly, I played around with some flavors and came up with a muffin even Charlie Brown would wait for: )
Pumpkin, by itself, is pretty bland in taste and I think that's why you see 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar added to most recipes. However, when I introduced molasses, I found the amount could be decreased to 1 cup without sacrificing flavor. Molasses is made from young cane sugar and sulfur dioxide, which acts as a preservative. It is a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron and I can see why, Siobain wanted to include this ingredient with her busy schedule--3 children, including a six-month old baby and returning to competitive swimming.
Whenever, you reduce sugar you need to make sure you don't sacrifice flavor. The molasses is a great addition, along with the chocolate chips, but I also added ground ginger and Ginger mini chips to enhance the pumpkin.
Pumpkin Molasses Muffins with Chocolate Chips
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable or Canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Ginger mini chips
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 3/4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips (bittersweet or semi-sweet)
Preheat oven to 350F-degree. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or use a non-stick baking spray. I used a fluted mini cake pan.
In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and while the mixer is running on medium speed, slowly add the oil. (Anyone who has made their own mayonnaise will see a similarity with how the eggs bind together [emulsify] with the oil.) Add the sugar and beat to combine. Add the molasses, pumpkin, buttermilk and both gingers and mix again. Remove from the stand and stir in the dry ingredients--stirring ensures you don't over mix the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.
In a regular muffin tin, you will get 18 muffins; the larger fluted pan that I used, yielded 12.
Molasses Glaze: (optional)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 T molasses
1-2 T hot water
In a small bowl stir all the ingredients together. Drizzle or spread on top of the muffins.