Holiday Favorites, Snacking

Chocolate Chip Ghost Muffins

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Tonight we baked pumpkin muffins for school tomorrow to celebrate Halloween! We also finally carved our pumpkins, and holy cow, carving an owl was harder than I thought! But we did it, all of us (as in all four of us carved one pumpkin because it was huge and we ran out of time!), and the pumpkins are on the front porch ready for tomorrows trick-or-treating!

The kids are excited for “The Great Pumpkin” to arrive, since we do not keep our candy, the Great Pumpkin leaves a small little something in exchange for the kids candy (that is always donated). This year I found glow in the dark Thomas the Train for my little guy and a small bead bracelet kit with stickers for my little lady. I just got done hiding them – can’t wait for them to search for their surprises tomorrow night!

We found nut-free mummies for these muffins at Michael’s craft store in early September. That’s some solid advice right there. If you’re going to be baking something special for a holiday – shop early. The best selection of nut-free items always goes first.

Mini Pumpkin Muffins – You’ll need a mini-muffin pan. Kohl’s has a great one, it’s the Food Network brand and the non-stick is amazing!

Ingredients

  • 2 C flour (can subs. for whole wheat flour / GF flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 (15oz) can of pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life / Artisan Kettle)

Directions

  1. Line your baking pan + preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl + combine ( this is all of the dry ingredients)
  3. In your electric mixer bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except chocolate chips. This includes: pumpkin, sugar, sugar, eggs, and oil.
  4. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix together.
  5. Gently fold in the 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
  6. Fill the lined muffin pan 2/3 full of batter
  7. Bake for approximately 14 minutes, depending on your oven.
  8. Top with cream cheese frosting mixed with 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes + add your decorations.
  9. Enjoy! The yield on this was quite high,  about 58 mini muffins.


     

    Happy Halloween!

    Holiday Favorites, Snacking, Uncategorized

    NYT Rhubarb Crisp

    My sweet sweet neighbor Maryellen gave me a TON of fresh rhubarb last week. We love rhubarb season. Today’s cookout was the perfect opportunity to debut this New York Times Rhubarb Crisp recipe.

    (I LOVE the New York Times recipes, they ALWAYS are fabulous. And I love reading the paper. A dead medium, I know. But it’s relaxing to me).

    Usually during this time of year we make rhubarb cake, but I wanted something a little lighter, faster and less cakey. Needless to say, this crisp was a crowd pleaser. My only regret is that I didn’t make a double batch to share with more friends! This dish is a 9 x 9 and if you dish out dessert like I do, it will only have 9 servings πŸ™‚

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    What made this recipe even better was that I made it with my sweet daughter. She’s a smart cookie in the kitchen and very helpful. She prepped the 9 x 9 pan, and got all of the ingredients ready on the counter top while I chopped 6 cups of rhubarb.

    We had fun and dessert is that much sweeter when it’s made with love.

    Ingredients:

    • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing pan
    • 2 Β½ to 3 pounds rhubarb, trimmed, tough strings removed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 to 6 cups)
    • ΒΌ cup white sugar
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice
    • 1 teaspoon orange zest
    • ΒΎ cup brown sugar
    • Β½ cup all-purpose flour
    • Β½ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
    • Pinch salt
    • Β½ cup rolled oats (Quaker Oats)

    Directions:

    1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking or gratin dish with a little butter. Toss rhubarb with white sugar, orange or lemon juice and zest, and spread in baking dish.
    2. Put the 6 tablespoons butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, and pulse for about 20 or 30 seconds, until it looks like small peas and just begins to clump together. Add oats and pecans and pulse just a few times to combine.
    3. Crumble the topping over rhubarb and bake until golden and beginning to brown, 45 to 50 minutes.

    *a quick short cut if you do not want to get out your big food processor (ours is 12 cup and mammoth, then cleaning it, don’t even get me started) I used my nutribullet smoothie maker to blend up the dry ingredients. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just a few zaps. I added the oats and mixed in by hand, then dumped the entire container into my recipe.

    Serve with ice cream, whip topping, yogurt, mint, or as is.

    I hope you enjoy this fun, sweet, tart recipe as much as we did.