Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans


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.)



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



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.



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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For the Spiced Pumpkin Puree:
For the batter:
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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio

A splash of red wine vinegar balances the richness of this cheesy pasta and magnifies the pink color of the onions and radicchio. Omit the prosciutto to make this a vegetarian main dish.



Active: 25 mins          Total: 1 hr        Yield: 6 to 8




2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, thinly sliced
1 large head radicchio, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick ribbons
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
6 ounces softened goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 quarts water
1 pound uncooked short pasta (such as gemelli, casarecce, or strozzapreti)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces fontina cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups), divided
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1-inch pieces
Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing baking dish
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)




Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a 12-inch, high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in radicchio, garlic, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until radicchio is just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in goat cheese and cream; bring to a simmer over medium-high. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Step 2

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high. Stir in 3 tablespoons salt. Add pasta, and cook until just shy of al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain; reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Stir pasta, reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, pepper, nutmeg, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt into radicchio mixture. Fold in 11/2 cups fontina cheese and prosciutto; toss well.

Step 3

Transfer pasta mixture to a 3-quart baking dish lightly greased with butter. Dot with remaining 1/2 cup fontina cheese; sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top and bubbling around edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Make Ahead

Pasta can be assembled through step 2 one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.


Suggested Pairing

Substantial wintertime rosé.



Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio
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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio
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