Saturday, February 09, 2008

More Cooking

So, Al has a Robotics Competition that takes up all of her free time.  The kids spend hours working, talking and playing around.  The team meets up on weekends and I try and send her with food for the team, so they can eat something besides vending machine junk...
Ash had an idea for pumpkin mint chocolate chip muffins.  I was intrigued!  I never would have thought that combo would work, but it does, it is fantastic and the muffins are WONDERFUL.  The mint is such a strong (in a good way) flavor that it dominates the muffin.  The pumpkin becomes a supporting flavor, very unlike the "traditional" pumpkin Tha
nksgiving flavors...
Here goes.

Pumpkin Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 3/4 cups mint chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners or use foil liners with paper liners.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
In another bowl, stir together pumpkin and eggs until smooth.  Add water and vanilla and stir until smooth.  Blend in flour mixture.  Then stir in chocolate chips. I used a combination of mint chips.  Some chips were white and green swirled and I also had some standard brown mint chips, so I added them.  (I really preferred the look of the chocolate, rather than the green along side the pumpkin colored batter.)
Place generously filled cups into the pans and bake for 30 min until muffins gently spring back when touched.

Yum.  Very delicious served warm or cool.  The pumpkin flavor is very subtle.  The nutmeg offers a tiny bit of a pepper flavor which is a nice contrast to the sweet chocolate.  The muffins are spice based, just subtle flavors that create depth.

I also made a King Arthur Sugar Cookie mix and added those to the tray for the Robotics Team.  The sugar cookies were OK.  I wouldn't buy the mix again because they weren't great and instead had an artificial taste.  I like sugar cookies that are vanilla and buttery tasting.
The mix did require me to add butter, but due to the flours and artificial flavor, they tasted very commercial, not at all homemade.  They were easy to make, but all sugar cookies are easy to make.

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