Posted in Quick Breads, Recipes

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Fall is here!!! It has been for several weeks but this past week, the fall baking cravings hit me hard! These muffins are amazing! I made them a few times last year but never with the greatest results. I have a tough time with muffins; they can seem so simple to make but are very easy to under or over mix or bake if you’re making them from scratch. These muffins have been described like mini pumpkin pies and they have been universally loved by my taste-testers! The original recipe calls for walnuts and raisins to be added but I don’t love either of those two in muffins so I made a few changes. Also, with this recipe, I was finally able to use the Halloween themed muffin liners that my boyfriend got me and they make me absurdly happy.

The original recipe is from The Village Baker’s Wife, a cookbook by Gayle Ortiz that came out in the seventies! My neighbor was the first to introduce me to it and it’s been my favorite cookbook to bake out of for all-American favorites. The recipes are near fool proof and are versatile for scaling up and scaling down. The book says that this recipe makes about 18 muffins and it really makes me wonder about the size of the bakery’s muffin tins! This recipe easily makes 30 muffins made in the standard 3 by 4 tins that most people have at home. Being slightly limited by my college dorm, I made a mini loaf with the extra batter because I only have two muffin tins. The muffins don’t take long to bake, 15-20 minutes and are worth waiting for them to cool completely before eating! Like with cookies, the chips become molten in the baking process and will burn your mouth if not cooled! The recipe also doesn’t use a full 15 oz can of pumpkin. It uses most of it but there’s just a little bit left over at the end. I wouldn’t put that extra bit in the recipe because it’ll make it a little too wet and it won’t bake properly. It’s too little to make anything substantial but let me know if you come up with a good use for it because I love not wasting food! Enjoy baking and I hope you’re having a lovely fall!

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

  • 3 large eggs
  • 446 grams (2 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 170 grams (6 oz or 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (should still be a liquid)
  • 380 grams (1 2/3 cup) pumpkin puree, canned is fine
  • 400 grams (3 1/3 cup) All Purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line two or three standard muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, spices, nuts, and chocolate chips.
  4. Gently add the dry ingredients to the wet (flour mix to egg mix). Mix until there are just a few dry spots. Those spots will be absorbed in baking and by leaving a few, it prevents over mixing.
  5. Scoop batter into lined muffin cups with an ice cream scoop.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes. The muffins are done when a knife inserted in their center comes out clean or when the tops spring back to the touch.
  7. Cool in the tins until cool enough to handle. Cool on a wire rack and eat!
Posted in Quick Breads

Grandma’s Date Nut Bread

This is one of the more personal recipes that I could possibly share. This recipe, as the title says, comes from my grandmother. For years, I heard my mother longingly speak of her mother’s date nut bread, which would be made as Christmas presents for loved ones. During our extended sheltering at home during the pandemic, my mom and I found a big family recipe book as we cleaned out the garage, which just so happened to contain a recipe for my grandmother’s famous date nut bread. I feel really lucky that we were able to find the recipe book in the first place and reading through it helped to connect me to my mother’s side of the family. My grandmother passed away shortly after my birth and I’ve always wished that we could have had just a little bit more time. While making this recipe, I felt just a little bit closer to my grandma.

This recipe is definitely a little interesting to make but is not hard at all! One of the first parts of this recipe calls for boiling water mixed with baking soda and dates. While I couldn’t find any real reasoning for this in the rest of the recipe, after a little bit of internet sleuthing, I surmised that the water is meant to help the baking soda dissolve and not get stuck on the dates. I also think that this recipe may be meant for two small loaf pans rather than the medium sized loaf pan that I used. In the recipe notes, it said that it made two loaves, but I found it barely filled my tin. I almost made it in my individual scone pan from King Arthur which may have helped it to bake quicker and more evenly. Due to the size of the pan I baked it in, I had to add an extra 20 minutes to the baking time during which the edges started to get a little crispy. I really enjoyed this recipe and it made me smile to see my mother very enthusiastically devouring the date bread! I hope you enjoy baking but be warned, it takes longer to bake than it does to assemble the ingredients!

Grandma’s Date Nut Bread Recipe

  • 1 cup dates, chopped and de-pitted
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon shortening/butter (original recipe called for shortening but I used butter this time)
  • 1 cup nut meat (I chopped pecans but any sweeter raw nut would work, candied nuts may be too sweet to eat in the bread)
  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Combine the dates, boiling water, and baking soda and let stand while doing step 3
  3. Cream together sugar, eggs, and shortening/butter. Ensure it is thoroughly mixed and almost fluffy.
  4. Combine dates and sugar mix. To the combined mix, add the nut meat, flour, and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour into loaf pan and bake 1 hour, 20 minutes if using a large loaf pan or 1 hour for smaller loaves. Check for doneness by sticking a knife in the middle of the loaf, if it comes out clean then it’s ready to come out of the oven.
  6. Let loaf cool and enjoy warm or at room temperature with a bit of butter slathered on top or just plain if you like!