Pumpkin Cranberry Swirl Muffins
Got some leftover cran sauce? Have I got an idea for you :)
There is little I find more comforting than waking up around 8 on a weekend morning, French-pressing some coffee and baking. Believe it or not, I was once NOT AT ALL a morning person. I used to be up until 2 a.m. every night for no real reason except that I perceived myself to be a night owl.
I would sleep in until at least 10 and basically didn’t have any morning left at that point. Getting up for 8 a.m. church only happened because my parents were bound and determined to get us there. In my zombie-like state, I took 20-plus minute showers, shoveled some cereal down and fumblingly made myself somewhat presentable. If throwing on a dress and shoes didn’t constitute a nice church outfit, I would have had problems.
What happened? Well, I started seeing a morning person. That tends to change your schedule a bit, and in my case it was for the better! Dave likes to be up early, even if it’s just to read a book or play video games. When we started being on the same schedule, I started actually getting enough sleep. And it turns out that even for the owliest night owl, all it takes to wake up early is good sleep habits. No more Guitar Hero in the wee hours. It’s good to be out of sleep debt!
Fast forward a few years, and I am up and savoring the morning hours. I bake. I plan for the blog. I go outside and garden, whispering sweet nothings to my giant tomato crop and asking them to PLEASE RIPEN OMG. I worked a 12-plus hour day yesterday and I still was up to make these muffins today. Which, by the way, were amazing.
Here’s what you need:
1 3/4 cups AP flour
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. Dutch process cocoa
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. high-quality vanilla extract
About 1 cup chocolate chips
Once again, it is time for my beloved Muffin Method. The lack of actual work in making muffins is one of the biggest reasons I make them so often – if the coffee is still brewing, my muffins won’t suffer if I am low on alertness 🙂
Preheat the oven to 350.
Start by whisking together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Measure the yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla into a liquid measurement vessel and stir to combine.
Add the liquids to the mixing bowl and stir no more than ten times to combine. Muffin batter should be pretty lumpy, and when you use yogurt it will also be pretty thick. Both of these are ok.
Add the chocolate chips in about halfway through the mixing. Spoon into greased muffin cups and sprinkle with a few extra chocolate chips for good measure and general prettiness. Bake for 15-20 minutes.