Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins with Brown Butter and Molasses

Whoever invented the muffin is one evil genius. You know they were just some weirdo who really wanted cake for breakfast, but didn’t want deal with all the dirty stares and judgment for eating dessert first thing in the morning. I have yet to figure out a socially permissible way to serve cookies for breakfast, so until then I will have to console myself with serving muffins, A.K.A Breakfast Cake.

Pumpkin and chocolate chips are a fairly common pairing in the muffin world. However, I ramped up my recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins with the addition of molasses and browned butter. The molasses adds a smoky sweetness, while the brown butter adds a a wonderful nutty caramel flavor. All this adds up to really delicious baked goods with more depth than your average, stale coffee shop pumpkin muffin.  So bust out the morning coffee and get baking!

Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Muffins, makes about 2 dozen muffins

Pumpkin Puree, vanilla, flour, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and, of course, brown butter

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter for the brown butter*
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin purée (about 1 15-ounce can)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Equipment:

  • A small sauce pan to brown your butter
  • Standing mixer, electric mixer, or a regular bowl with a spatula and some elbow grease
  • A rubber/silicone spatula for mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl
  • 2 regular sized muffin tins lined with paper/parchment cupcake liners (stay away from dark metal baking tins because they mess with the cooking time of your baked cookies)
  • A rack to cool the muffins
  • A large Ice cream scoop or dinner spoon for dividing up the batter evenly

The Process:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

You can see how dark the butter has turned and the little flecks of caramelized milk solids on the spatula. This is what brown butter should look like

2) Brown your butter: In a small sauce pan, melt one stick of butter (I cut mine into pieces for even melting) over medium heat. Stirring frequently, cook the butter until it begins to turn a golden brown and begins foaming. The milk solids will have separated from the butter fat and will turn a rich golden brown (about the same color as caramel). Keep a vigilant eye on your butter for even browning. This takes about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and turmeric). Set aside.3) In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment (or just a plain bowl with a spatula or an electric mixer), mix together your pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, molasses, and brown sugar until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl down.

4) With your mixer turned off, add your dry ingredients (you can do it all one time). Turn your mixer to your lowest setting and slowly turn up the speed to prevent splatter. Mix until the flour has just combined with the batter (no more than 30 seconds). Try not to over-mix or your muffins will be tough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula and gently mix in any streaks/clumps of flour.

5) Turn your mixer off and add the brown butter making sure to get all of those yummy caramelized milk solids into out of your pan and into your batter. Turn the mixer to low and mix until just combined.

6) Using a rubber/silicone spatula, gently mix in your chocolate chips

C and S Tip: To keep your chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of your muffins, toss them with a bit of flour (no more than a teaspoon). This trick also works for adding dried fruit or nuts to any batter.

7) Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop evenly divide your batter among the muffin tins.

Make sure to get all of the brown bits at the bottom of the bowl into your batter

8) Sprinkle a generous pinch of sanding sugar over the top of each muffin.

9) Bake for about 22-25 minutes until the tops are puffed and spring back slightly when pressed. You can also insert a toothpick. If the tooth pick comes out relatively clean with a few distinct crumbs on it.

10) When your muffins are finished baking, take them out of the oven and let them cool on a rack for ten minutes. You can eat them now or wait until they have completely cooled before storing them in an airtight container. You can eat them immediately, room temperature, or warm them up a bit in an oven set on very low heat (like 150 or 200 degrees).

The Disclaimer: Yet again, this post is unsponsored. AHHHHHHHHHH!

 *If you don’t have the time or inclination to brown your butter for this recipe, just use melted butter. It will change the flavor a bit (the brown butter is soooo yummy. Don’t let it scare you!), but the recipe will definitely still work. 

 

 

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