Pumpkin, Chocolate Chip, and Pistachio Crumb Muffins
I know we're barely into September, but I am READY for fall, friends. Although I'm generally a fan of the fall season (having been a November bride once a upon a time, my husband still claims that I love him more September through December. Probably?), this year I'm particularly pumped about the passage of time. Could it be that it's because I'm very type A and relieved to finally be falling into a new routine now that Little C is in Real School? Or maybe it's that I'm desperate for San Francisco Summer, which is to say September and October, when we finally get temperatures above 65 degrees and the skies become sunny and clear (true story, if you've never visited)? Or it could just be that I"m counting the hours because my baby is teething like a mad man, sweaty and sobbing and only happy when he's being held and gnawing on all my slobbery body parts and I really know I shouldn't be wishing this time away with my baby, but hey, at least he's six months old now so LET'S BRING ON THE IBUPROFEN, SUCKAHS.
Ahem. What I mean to say is I'm excited for fall because pumpkin. Yes, that's what I mean. Autumnal pumpkin treats for all!
We know I bake a lot of stuff, right? And I love trying new recipes. So what ends up happening is that I don't make a whole lot of things on the regular because I can't calm the heck down and stop trying new recipes instead. But! There are a handful of recipes that are so completely crave-worthy that they've become part of my personal arsenal and I am compelled to make them again and again. And again. Like the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf from those adorable Baked boys. In fact, I keep a can of pumpkin in the cabinet pretty much all the time specifically for this recipe. I might make it once per season in the winter, spring, and even summer, but we get heavy into the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf around here come September. It's simply everything for Fall. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf is the new black. No other way to say it.
So yesterday I was feeling particularly pumped for autumn, spied a can of pumpkin and a bag of chocolate chips in the pantry and decided it was time to roll out the first Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf of the season. But maybe I'd had a little too much coffee or something, because I thought about actually riffing on what is already a totally perfect recipe. What is my problem? Why can't I just allow myself to experience joy and gratitude in the moment without the fear that there's something else I need to be accomplishing? (Thanks to Tracy, I'm also heavy back into some Brené Brown and I just can't stop, people. It's seeping into everything and making me a total head case. Anyway.)
In the end, I decided to basically create a gilded lily in baked good form and opted to scoop the batter into muffin tins and give them a crunchy, buttery, nutty streusel topping studded with finely chopped pistachios (adapted from Jennie Perillo's brilliant cookbook). As if!
I have no regrets.
Pumpkin, Chocolate Chip, and Pistachio Crumb Muffins Batter adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito Crumb topping adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo
For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (about half a 15-ounce can) 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/3 cup room temperature water 3/4 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli 60% cacao)
For the pistachio crumb topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup shelled, roasted and salted pistachios, finely chopped 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil and sugar until well-blended. Whisk in the eggs and the vanilla until combined, then whisk in the water. Fold the chocolate chips into the wet ingredients.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to overmix the batter. Using a standard ice cream scoop, portion the batter equally into the wells of the muffin tin.
To make the crumb topping, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, dark brown sugar, salt, and chopped pistachios. Using your fingertips, mix in the butter, tossing lightly so that all the dry ingredients are evenly moistened and the mixture is pebbly. Divide the crumb topping equally among the 12 muffins.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, or serve slightly warm.