Happy September 1st, my friends!
It's supposed to be 90 degrees here today, but I am giving myself full permission to get in the mood for fall now that it's September. I'm diffusing cozy oils. I'm finding excuses to add cinnamon to all manner of food and beverage. I'm listening to my fall playlist. I'm even going to put out my decorations this weekend after I clean the house. It's glorious!
One thing that gets me in the fall mood more than anything else is baking. There is something so warm and inviting about filling the kitchen with the smell of spices, nuts, apple, pear, and pumpkin.
This morning I just couldn't wait any longer for all those warm fuzzies so I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins - a favorite in the Clifton home any time of the year, but especially in the fall.
Friend, I wish you could smell my kitchen right now. I'm pretty sure this is what heaven is going to smell like.
I have a funny story about these muffins, too.
Last year, sometime in October I think, I made these muffins on a very chilly, stormy day. It was so gloomy outside and my husband had been working in the rain most of the day so I wanted to surprise him with cozy smells and delicious goodies when he got home. The perfect remedy? Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins, of course.
I whipped up a batch, put them in the oven, and not five minutes after I had pulled them out and their scent had filled our house, the doorbell rang.
Living in the country, we don't get many unexpected visitors so I always check to see who it is through the kitchen window before I open the door. Today it was our UPS man, an older gentleman with spiky hair, standing on our front step looking quite cold and tired after a long day.
I hurried to the door, he handed me the package, and all of a sudden he caught a whiff of the muffins.
"Wow, something smells really good!"
I told him I had just made a batch of delicious muffins and asked if he wanted one. Because, you know, Idaho hospitality and all.
I kid you not, his face looked like the face of a little boy on Christmas morning. The joy is incomparable.
So, I handed him a fresh, warm muffin on a napkin and now we are basically best friends.
Anyhow, that little incident earned this recipe a permanent place in my fall stash. They really are the answer to some of life's problems.
Feeling gloomy? Make these muffins. Is the kitchen smelly from last night's dinner or the house chilly around the edges? Make these muffins. Does your husband need a something warm and tasty to come home to after a long day? Make these muffins. Need something to do on a stormy afternoon? Make these muffins. Not sure what to make for breakfast this weekend? Makes these muffins. Need to make a new friend? Make these muffins.
Still need more convincing? They are super easy to make. They are dairy free. They are refined sugar free. They are Paleo friendly. They can become gluten free as easy as pie. And, most importantly, they are DELICIOUS.
Basically what I'm getting at here is that you need to make these muffins (obviously).
Before I get too carried away (wait, too late for that?), here's the recipe. The original is from my mother-in-law's kitchen, but, as with most of the recipes I share on The Little Homeplace, I have changed things up a bit to make it my own.
I would highly suggest making these delectable little things ASAP so you can taste the goodness and smell the spices and get all the fall feels.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Paleo, dairy-free, refined sugar free, can be GF
Makes 24 muffins
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 cups melted coconut oil
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
2 1/2 cups almond flour or meal
1/2 cup spelt flour (or gluten free flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. clove
1 1/2 - 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix eggs, pumpkin, and coconut sugar together. Add melted coconut oil and stir until well combined and no oil sits on top of the mixture (this may take a minute). Add dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake in well-greased or lined muffin tin at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins start turning golden brown around the edges and are springy (not gooey!) to the touch. Allow the muffins to cool for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Best when fresh and warm, but also store well in the fridge or freezer for heating and eating later.