Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pumpkin Magic Muffins, with Chocolate Chips

 In our family, a common breakfast is "Magic Muffins." Why they are called "magic" I have no idea, but they sure are tasty! The original recipe can be found on any box of Malt-O Meal quick cooking hot cereal. We found the original recipe lacking, so we have sinced changed it up into quite a few versions. This one is our current favorite. -And since I have plenty of homemade pumpkin puree in the freezer, we make these muffins often.
  This muffin is slightly sweet with a hint of spices and a texture that you can't find in any ordinary muffin. The dry cereal lends a texture similar to cornmeal, but without the corn flavor. I should mention that if you don't have pumpkin on hand you can use any other puree you have. Thicker purees (like pumpkin, butternut squash or applesauce) work best. If you use a thinner puree (like strawberries for example) you might have to cook the muffins a little longer so they are not wet inside. Also, I would replace the pumpkin pie spice with plain cinnamon. Feel free to mix it up and make what you have on hand, and what you and your family love.
  They are really simple and a cinch to put together. I hope they'll find a welcomed spot at your breakfast table too. :)

In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and 1/2 cup sugar.
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp veg. oil

1 egg (Sorry the lighting is so weird in this shot. As you well know, I'm no where near to a professional photographer, so I haven't figured out how to keep this "orange" lighting from happening. I know you understand and forgive me. We just understand each other that way.)

1 Tbsp baking powder

3/4 cups Malt-O Meal

3/4 cups milk

1 1/4 cups flour

and 3/4 cups chocolate chips. (There are some people in this world that would consider chocolate and "optional" ingredient. I'm not one of them. But . . . if you are one of those unfortunate people, feel free to substitute with nuts, dried fruit, or just skip this step all together. The muffins will still be yummy -)

I use my smallest scoop, and scoop the batter into my mini muffin tins. (Make sure to properly spray the tins with no-stick spray, or use cupcake liners, to prevent them from sticking. My wonderful husband abhors washing these tins, and I try to make his life as easy as possible. After all, the third best thing he has ever done for me (aside from marrying me and fathering my amazing children) is that he washes my pots, pans and tins. Yeah . . . he's a keeper. ;)

This is what they will look like when they come out of the oven.

I always turn them out onto a towel. This is what my dad always did, and so I do it too. I'm pretty sure it's so that they don't get soggy bottoms.

This is how they look on the inside. Nice and fluffy - with a slightly crisp interior.  And the taste? Let's just say that we make many versions of this muffin around our house, and this is by far our hands down favorite!

They are truly scrumptious.

Now excuse me while I devour this whole plate.
Here's the recipe:
(If you find yourself wanting to make this recipe, but don't have any pureed pumpkin, have no fear. You can use applesauce instead. Or any other pureed squash (butternut works very well). It won't be identical, but it will be close.)

Pumpkin Magic Muffins, with Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup dry original Malt-O Meal quick cooking hot cereal 
3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla oil and egg. Mix in the baking powder, Malt-O Meal and milk. Add flour until just combined (DO NOT over-mix), and gently fold in chocolate chips. Scoop into greased or paper-lined mini muffin tins. Bake @ 400F for 12 minutes or until golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly. (If using regular sized muffin tins, they will cook for 18 minutes.) Turn out onto a towel to cool. Serve warm or room temperature.

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