Light, Loaded Pumpkin Muffins with Dark Chocolate, Cherries and Walnuts

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The perfect pumpkin muffin. It is something I aspire to create. The last week or so has been spent tweaking my basic pumpkin recipe.

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Five extra pounds of Ima Shanna later, the final results are scrum-didily-umptious! Presenting my family’s forever favorite sweet, squash creation.

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Mr. Pumpkin and Ms. Dark Chocolate are an unexpectedly delectable combination. The two sing harmoniously on the palette. Of course, Dark Chocolate never saw a Madame Cherry or Sir Walnut she didn’t get along swimmingly with. But, can the four ingredients unite with fabulous flourish?

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Yes. Oh, the flavorful four shine together in “Light, Loaded Pumpkin Muffins with Dark Chocolate, Cherries and Walnuts.”

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Fortunately, my little brother (well, he is actually quite big: 6’6″ tall!) is staying with us for a bit. Thus, I have an extra taste-tester on hand. “Dod (uncle in Hebrew) P.” has refined taste-buds, so he makes a trustworthy sampler – and he is shares his honest opinions. Dod P. gave the muffins two thumbs up. Yay!

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Snu Magoo and Littlest Guy ate two muffins for breakfast – each. They crumbled more on the floor than usual: they inhaled these pillows of pumpkin perfection with lightening speed. I consider these facts a sign of kiddie endorsement: The Munchkin Seal of Approval.

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Let’s. Get. Baking. !

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First, combine the wet ingredients…

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…And mix well.

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In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

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… And stir, stir, stir. Maybe one more stir.

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Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients…

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… and mix well.

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Snu Magoo and Littlest Guy are small (but mighty!) mixing helpers.

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Use an ice cream scoop to fill twelve muffin cups.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes…

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… And cool oh-so-slightly.

Then, eat a soft, pillowy, slightly sweet muffin while warm.

The pleasure of oozing dark chocolate envelopes savory, crunchy walnuts and warm, soft cherries in a warm, delicious hug.

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Critic A approves.

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The second judge concurs.

It’s unanimous: “Yummy in my Tummy, Ima!”

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Thank you for visiting us at Casa Curls and Carrots. Do try these muffins for your family, friends – or for a bit of pleasure not to be shared.

You deserve a treat!

Warmly,

     Shanna    

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Print

Light, Loaded Pumpkin Muffins with Dark Chocolate, Cherries and Walnuts

Wet ingredients:

1 1/3 cups organic pumpkin purée

2 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup canola oil

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. 0% Greek yogurt

Dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. Jamaican allspice or cloves 

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped

1/2 cup 60-70% dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli) 

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350•F or 177•C.
  • Line a standard muffin pan with twelve muffin cups.
  • Whisk wet ingredients in a large bowl until completely combined.
  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl, use a large spoon to mix the dry ingredients well.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Mix well to completely combine.
  • Use an ice-cream scoop to place batter into muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire racks. Enjoy!

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©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.

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39 thoughts on “Light, Loaded Pumpkin Muffins with Dark Chocolate, Cherries and Walnuts

  1. Oh my goodness–these look amazing and wonderful. If I could eat one through my computer right now, I would! I might try it with dried cranberries, since I always have those on hand, along with Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips, of course! 🙂 Maybe after Thanksgivukkah (I already have 2 loaves of pumpkin bread in the freezer for that.)

    1. Hi, Merril,
      I am a bit pumpkin obsessed. You see, I have a loaf of pumpkin-raisin bread in the freezer, as my recipe makes two (https://shannaward.com/2013/11/06/spiced-whole-grain-pumpkin-bread/). Still, I am baking pumpkin muffins! Truth be told, these muffins go very quickly – probably because of the dark chocolate inside!. I think they will be delicious with any dried fruit that you, your husband and daughters fancy. Thank you kindly for taking the time to visit and leave a warm, encouraging comment.
      Good Shabbos!
      Shanna

  2. yum!!! Love that your perfecting a pumpkin recipe. Even better that your kiddos lap them up. They’re all about the muffin, aren’t they? 😉

    1. Oh, Liz – Kids seem to adore muffins. Truth be told, I secretly hope mine get full and leave a few crumbs. Especially when it comes to this recipe. Many thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your warm and bright words. xx Shanna

    1. Dan,
      Thank you! Your comments are so uplifting. I am touched and honored that you stopped by – and left such warm, encouraging words. Thank you. Have a great weekend! Oh, and as as for the two munchkins: I’ll keep ’em.
      Warmly,
      Shanna

  3. The just love pumpkin and chocolate together! And anything dark chocolate is just divine. Anything kiddo approved is always great! Crumbs from kids, I have no clue about that, ha ha ha! Mine boys can be quite messy, especially with muffins.

    1. Hi, Gretchen,
      Yes, messy eaters – we can relate on this, having crumbly little ones!
      I love pumpkin and chocolate, too. MMM. I appreciate you leaving a sweet note. Update me if you give these bad boys a try. Have a great day!
      Warmly,
      Shanna

    1. Howdy, Amiga Ada,
      Thank you so much for visiting and leaving such bright, supportive words. Your visits are so uplifting. I am happy to hear that you like the combination – do let me know if you try the recipe. You are a great baker. Have a fabulous Sunday!
      Warmly,
      Shanna

    1. OH my gosh, Lidia. I think that I had cherries and chocolate on my mind because you mentioned the combination with pumpkin previously. I should have cited you as my inspiration. Well, I now wholeheartedly thank you, a bit late. Thank you for coming by – you have made my night. Warmly, Shanna xx

  4. Chocolate, cherries, and walnuts I know play very well together. I didn’t realize there was room for pumpkin, too, at the party. These sound great, Shanna. I bet that flavor combination surprises everyone. It certainly would me.
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Hanukkah, Shanna.

    1. Hi, John,
      You see, I am slowly attempting to lure you into making pumpkin muffins. Eventually, you will break down and give them a go. 😉 Thank you for your warm wishes for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Max, Zia – and all who you care for.
      Warmly,
      Shanna

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