Fall, that is. Undeniably my most favorite time of the year.
I love the colors, the smells, the tastes, the weather ~ everything. Here in Texas, the Fall is not remotely close to the Falls I experienced while growing up in Michigan. Up there we had significant weather changes with warm days and cool, brisk evenings. The foliage was fantastic, with colors that were breathtakingly beautiful.
In Texas? Not so much.
My heart rarely yearns for Michigan as I've lived in Texas for over half my life now. But twenty-one years later, my heart always begins to ache this time of year. I become restless and always talk about moving somewhere in between, where seasons exist and the trees change colors rather than going from green to brown and stark overnight.
But alas, I'm here and despite the fact that the temperatures are still topping out in the the upper 90's, I have Fall on the brain. Apparently my heart knows it's becoming Fall despite what my eyes see and my sweat glands feel and..uh..excrete.
Because of this weird season knowing anomaly my brain and body have, my gut starts telling me to bake. A lot.
And so it has begun. The season of muffin making and sweet bread baking has arrived. In full force. In the last week I've made two different muffin recipes, much to the delight of my entire family. And since I'm all warm (sweaty?) and fuzzy feeling right now, I want to share them with you. And 'cause I know if I show y'all the pictures, you'll want the recipes anyway. At least I would. Because I'm a sucker for a good muffin recipe.
The first recipe is for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. I got the basic recipe out of a magazine called Through The Country Door. Oooooo, it's just chocked full of beautiful Fall stuff! Anyway, it was a Pumpkin Bread recipe and I altered it here and there to my own liking, but it could still be made as a bread rather than muffins.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or a little more if you spicier, like me)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
15 oz canned pumpkin
1/2 c. vegetable oil (I use organic coconut oil)
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 cups chocolate chips (how much chocolatey goodness do you like? or you could do nuts too)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients; set aside. In another bowl, stir together the eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, water and vanilla; mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups until a little over 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes depending on your oven. Cool completely. This will make 2 dozen muffins.
The second recipe is from a blog I read, The Homespun Heart. Carrie is an incredibly crafty and is always posting creative ideas and yummy recipes and this one is no different. Her Fresh Apple Muffin recipe was simply delicious. A hearty, rustic recipe that is moist, delicious and easy.
Fresh Apple Muffins
1 c. flour ( I used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. oil ( I used organic coconut oil)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. chopped apple
1/2 c. chopped nuts ( I omitted these as some picky ones won't eat them)
Combine all ingredients and spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes: one dozen muffins
I will say that this one is a little crumbly. I'm not sure if it was just my batch or what. I would say it's not an on-the-go muffin, but one that needs to stay at the table. The batter is also surprisingly thick, so don't let that shock you. The pieces of apple taste wonderful and just make this recipe awesome!
Okay, and there you have my little peek at Fall baking. I'm not very inspiring most of the time, but I hope this post encourages you to pull out Ye Olde Apron and some muffin pans and whip up some good ol' muffins. Enjoy!
p.s. just in case you're wondering...I didn't do Devil Yoga this week. I had an honest to goodness excuse. The Boy and Madgirl needed some things for school and I, being the wonderful mother that I am, had to oblige. I will grudgingly return next week though, to inflict a little more torture on myself.