Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ari's Pumpkin Patch Muffins with Chocolate Chunks...

Yesterday, the weather took a turn with a cold front coming through here in Kentucky.  The temperatures were in the 30s during the night and this morning Ari and I decided to bake warm muffins.  Keeping in mind the season, I pulled a can of organic pumpkin from the cupboard and Ari spied a bag of chocolate chunks and said, "those too, Mimi."  We pulled over his learning tower and he prepared to be my sous chef, waiting for me to hand him the measured ingredients to put in the mixing bowl.

I couldn't help but think how baking with Ari reminded me of baking with his mama when she was little.  Patiently awaiting for instructions, anticipating my cue to turn the mixer on, and when the bowl was lowered, putting his finger in, slowly lifting it to his lips, then, looking at me with those big brown eyes and saying,  "I taste?"  Of course, the finger was in his mouth before I could answer :)

Baking with children is so rewarding.  I loved baking with Maddie back in June, watching the delight on her face as she completed each task I gave her.  I got to have the same experience with Ari this morning and it's the best feeling to start the day.  When he took a bite into the muffin he had helped create, he said, "Mimi, I happy!"  What else can I say.

Ari's Pumpkin Patch Muffins with Chocolate Chunks

1/2  c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 T molasses
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz) organic canned pumpkin
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 c buttermilk (or soured milk)
1 c dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven 375F-degrees.  Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray or use papers.
In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugars, and molasses together until fluffy.  
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one, then, the canned pumpkin is mixed in well.
I measured out all the dry ingredients, including the spices and Ari added then, alternately with the soured milk (1 cup milk with 1 tsp. cider vinegar).  Finally, he added the cup of chocolate chunks.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake 20-25 minutes. 
Presenting Ari's Pumpkin Patch Muffins...with Chocolate Chunks.  Enjoy!


  1. aww your little guy is growing up so quickly! it looks like he got a haircut too!
    thank you for sharing these photos of ari susan! it is so nice to see him : ) i am so happy the two of you are enjoying such fun together in the kitchen! he has his mama's big brown eyes : ) we will absolutely be trying these muffins soon! love you xoxo

  2. Nicole: Yes, the hair is shorter and shows off his cowlick :) I'm sure Ari would say to you, "I help," when you try the muffins. love you xoxo

  3. he is a doll, his little face and words must melt you! xoxo

  4. The muffins look delicious but I especially enjoyed the pictures of Ari helping his Mimi. He is such a sweet, precious boy. It makes me think back to the "olden days" when Mom used to let Rick help her bake---at 3 years old he could crack eggs pretty good!! Love & Hugs

  5. You are giving Ari a special gift by cooking with him. It warms my heart to see his smile. Enjoy Kentucky for us too!

  6. Ari and I have the same cowlick! How can any of us who love Kelly not wholeheartedly love this boy? It's impossible. I loved the "Mimi, I happy." It makes me happy to think of the two of you there together. Please give Matt and Ari a big hug from me, and make them give you one of the same. Happy, happy visit!

  7. Hello my friend

    A happy boy~ I am sure these moments are delightful for you Susan. Bonding lasts a lifetime.

    "I happy" the heart melts.
    Kelly's boy looks just like her~!

    Lots of love to you both
    love you

  8. I love my sweet nephew's happy face. What a joy to help Mimi in the kitchen and enjoy a yummy pumpkin muffin...made me think of Kel and how much she loved pumpkin.

  9. How precious Ari looks while enjoying a great time with his Mimi! I always thought that cooking/baking with kids is the ultimate bonding activity. Glad you are teaching your grandchildren a beautiful gift.

  10. Such a beautiful child!
    Gotta love a child that thinks chocolate belongs in everything!

  11. oh that face, that smile .... gorgeous.
    happy days sweet Grandma, enjoy.
    sun shining here this afternoon after a very wet morning.
    we have 3 weeks before our holiday, we're heading to Florida for 3 weeks, so much nearer you but still so far, how I wish ..