Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans

Description:

This update of the quick and easy pumpkin cranberry muffins in “Naturally provide better quality dairy-free desserts” is that my young granddaughter decided to sprinkle chocolate chips and some chopped on top of their muffins before baking The result of the pecan. (All Costigans think that chocolate makes everything better!) I am sure that taking 5 minutes to cook the sugar and spices into the pumpkin puree will make the best muffins, and the pumpkin puree can be made a few days in advance, even freezing. Stir the remaining puree into oatmeal or blend into a smoothie. If time is tight, use pumpkin pie mixture. (The farmers market is a good organic version.)

 

Ingredients:

For the Spiced Pumpkin Puree:

  • 2 cups unsweetened canned pumpkin purée
  • 2/3 cup organic whole cane sugar (such as Sucanat), or use brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

For the batter:

  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 2/3 cup soymilk or almond milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cooled Spiced Pumpkin Purée
  • 1/4 cup mild tasting extra virgin olive oil, or any neutral vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract or preferably 1/8 teaspoon orange oil, optional
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons sliced or chopped pecans

 

Instructions:

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Oil a 12-cup standard muffin tin including the top.

To make the Spiced Pumpkin Puree: Combine all the ingredients in a medium skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture comes to a low boil. Lower the heat and simmer 3 to 4 minutes, until the purée is dark and shiny, slightly thickened, and the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from the heat and spoon into a shallow dish to cool. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 month.

To make the batter: In a small bowl, mix the soy or almond milk with 2 teaspoons of the apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes to clabber.

Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to the strainer. Stir with a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. Whisk to aerate the ingredients.

Combine the Spice Pumpkin Purée, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, orange extract or oil and the remaining 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in medium bowl. Add clabbered milk and whisk until well blended. Pour into dry mixture and stir with a spatula only until the batter is smooth and no traces of flour remain. Stir the cranberries into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly, filling each cup 3/4 full. An ice cream scoop makes filling the cups easy. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with 3 to 4 chocolate chips and a few pieces of pecans.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until muffins are golden and a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

Cool the tin on a rack for 5 minutes. Carefully run a thin knife between the muffins and the inside of the cups, and lift each muffin onto the rack to cool completely.

Store in a tin for a day or freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost uncovered.

Note: This recipe leaves you with some leftover Spiced Pumpkin Puree, which can be frozen and reserved for another batch of muffins. Costigan likes to use the leftover puree to make pumpkin-spice smoothies. It’s also good stirred by the spoonful into cooked oatmeal or plain grits.

 

NUTRITION

Calories: 196

Total Fat: 6.7 g

Sat. Fat :1.2 g

Cholest. 0.0 mg

Sodium: 217 mg

Total Carb: 31.6 g

Protein: 3.1 g

Fiber: 2.9 g

 

 

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans
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Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans
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Ingredients
For the Spiced Pumpkin Puree:
For the batter:
Servings:
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Homemade Meatballs

Homemade Meatballs

Homemade Meatballs

Now that Halloween is behind us it’s time to think about the holidays ahead.  I always feel that Halloween kicks off the holiday season, it does it my house.  Once trick or treating is done and the Halloween decor has been put away I turn my attention to planning our Thanksgiving dinner and getting ready for Christmas.  It’s a very busy time for me!

I think the weeks leading up to the holidays are busy for everyone, we need to shop, cook, bake, clean, decorate, and more along with all the daily work that we do.  One this is certain holiday planning or not we still have to eat.  Cooking and planning daily meals can be challenging during this season.  I know many times we end up grabbing fast food on the way home or ordering in pizza just to have something to eat for dinner, but I really hate doing this.  I get tired of eating out and I really do like my home cooking!  So to make my life a bit easier I like to stock my freezer with pre-made dishes that we can pop in the oven on the days I don’t have time to cook.

One of the easiest things to work with are meatballs.  I know, you can buy pre-made frozen meatballs at the grocery store, but my family hates them!  I don’t like the spongy consistency, I find them very unappetizing.  They don’t taste too good either.  So I spend about 30 minutes one day and make my own meatballs which I freeze in ziplock freezer bags.   They just need re-heating when I need them.  Meatballs are great because they are very versatile; you can turn them into different dishes by adding just a few ingredients.  I like to make meatball subs, Swedish meatballs, teriyaki meatballs, meatball soup, and of course spaghetti and meatballs.  My grandkids love them with mac n’ cheese!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound ground beef – don’t use the one that’s too lean, you need a bit of fat to hold it together and also give it a good flavor.  I use ground sirloin or sometimes ground chuck which is a bit fattier.

1 egg

1 tbls. minced garlic

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tbls. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. fine sea salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese – use the fresh cheese not the one in the green cardboard shaker

Directions:

1.  Place meat and spices in a mixing bowl.

2.  Mix it all together using your hands.  Make sure the spices are distributed through out the meat, but don’t over mix as it will get spongy.

3.  Mix in cheese and bread crumbs.

4.  Shape into ball.  You can make any size ball you want, but don’t make them too big, they won’t cook in the middle.  Try to make balls the same size so they cook evenly.

5.  Place balls on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Homemade Meatballs

6.  Remove from from oven and cool before place in ziplock freezer bags to freeze.

Makes 3 dozen 2″ meatballs

Homemade Meatballs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Dozeen 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Dozeen 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Homemade Meatballs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Dozeen 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Dozeen 10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Dozeen
Instructions
  1. Place meat and spices in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix it all together using your hands. Make sure the spices are distributed through out the meat, but don't over mix as it will get spongy.
  3. Mix in cheese and bread crumbs.
  4. Shape into ball. You can make any size ball you want, but don't make them too big, they won't cook in the middle. Try to make balls the same size so they cook evenly.
  5. Place balls on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from from oven and cool before place in ziplock freezer bags to freeze.
  7. Makes 3 dozen 2" meatballs
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Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs

Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs

Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs
One of our favorite family snacks or appetizers are deviled eggs.  They are so easy to make and everyone loves them.
Here is a new twist on the old deviled egg recipe that I introduced last year for my daughter-in-law’s baby shower.  It uses roasted red peppers to give the egg filling a little spice.  It has since become a family favorite and we’ve served it for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
Before you begin here’s a quick tutorial on how to make perfect hard boiled eggs from Recipe Lion.
Ingredients:
12 hard boiled eggs – shelled and cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup mayonaise
2 large pieces of roasted red peppers (you’ll find these in a jar by the pickles or canned veggies aisle at your local supermarket)
1 tsp. salt (add or subtract according to taste
1 tbls. yellow mustard
Cayenne Red Pepper
Directions:
1.  Scoop out egg yolks into mixing bowl, and set egg whites aside.
2.  Mash egg yolks until they are very fine.
3.  Drain roasted red pepper and pat dry with paper towel.
4. Finely chop roasted red peppers and mix with mashed egg yolks.
5.  Add remaining ingredients to the egg yolk mixture.  Mix very well.
6.  Scoop or pipe egg yolk filling into egg white shells.
7.  Arrange on serving tray and sprinkle with Cayenne Red Pepper.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 24 deviled eggs
Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 Eggs 30 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 Eggs 30 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 Eggs 30 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 Eggs 30 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Eggs
Instructions
  1. Scoop out egg yolks into mixing bowl, and set egg whites aside.
  2. Mash egg yolks until they are very fine.
  3. Drain roasted red pepper and pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Finely chop roasted red peppers and mix with mashed egg yolks.
  5. Add remaining ingredients to the egg yolk mixture. Mix very well.
  6. Scoop or pipe egg yolk filling into egg white shells.
  7. Arrange on serving tray and sprinkle with Cayenne Red Pepper.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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