Can the perfect muffin make a difference in how your day goes? Well, so far today, I believe that it can. Groggy with sleep, I finally got out of bed at 8:30, jarred by Brie’s barking. Already an hour and 1/2 behind my schedule, I stumbled into the kitchen and eyed the muffins I baked yesterday. Things were looking up. Figured, if I was going to enjoy a muffin, I might as well have some coffee. If you give a mouse a cookie…
Taking a bite of the muffin while waiting on the coffee was my only mistake today (so far). The muffin was gone before the water got hot. The coffee was good on its own too. Now fully awake, I began opening windows and doors. Beautiful day. Birds are tweeting, chipmunks are chipping, the sunshine and breeze in perfect harmony. All because of a perfect muffin. Life is so in balance. These muffins will make your day too.
I began a new experiment a few months ago with the purchase of a bag of Trader Joe’s White Whole Wheat Flour. I am a baking snob. I will always be a baking snob. I have intermittently played with whole wheat flour in cookies and used a partial measure of it in muffins and quick breads over time. I never would have thought that a Whole Wheat flour could replace my standard, unbleached, all purpose flour. This flour pretty much does just that. I’ve been using it (WWW) in cookies, muffins, breads and even pizza crust. Convinced, that’s me.
Don’t get me wrong, WWW won’t be in my angel food cake recipe, nor will I use it next week when I bake my husband’s German Chocolate Birthday cake. But, day to day, we’ve made a commitment to use whole grains, so that’s what I do.
The other surprise ingredients in my muffin recipe are pumpkin, coconut oil, flax seed meal, golden flax seeds and natural sugar. You’ll find most of these ingredients at either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
Don’t you just hate it when someone tells you to go shopping before you can even begin to prepare a recipe? These are great ingredients that you can use over and over, and have a long shelf life. Maybe you’ll love these muffins enough to bake them multiple times. Spread the love to your neighbors and friends.
Whole Grain Pumpkin – Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes about 30 standard size muffins
- 3 3/4 cups WWW (White Whole Wheat Flour)
- 3/4 cup whole oats
- 1/2 cup flax seed meal
- 2 Tablespoons + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- finely grated zest from 2 oranges (thoroughly wash before grating)
Cream with an electric mixer:
- 2 cups natural sugar (substitute granulated sugar, if you like)
- 6 oz coconut oil* (sub canola or olive oil)
- 1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter
Add to creamed mixture:
- 6 whole eggs
- Juice from the 2 oranges
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
Once the eggs, juice and pumpkin are thoroughly mixed in, use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently mix in the combined dry ingredients. Add:
- 2 cups chocolate chips
Set the oven at 350 degrees. Use paper liners for 30 muffins. Scoop the batter into the cups.
Make a crumb topping by mixing:
- 1/2 cup WWW flour
- 1/3 cup natural sugar
- 2 Tbls flax seeds
- 1 Tbls melted butter or oil
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the muffin batter, then bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly touched.
*Coconut oil – while the central point of this post is to highlight the versatility of the WWW, coconut oil has become an indispensable item in my pantry. It has successfully replaced solid shortening in my pie crust, and is the only oil that I will pop corn with. Thanks to Pam Jones, CHHC, for indoctrinating me into the coconut oil hall of praise.