Fall is upon us, the nights are cooler, leaves are turning colors, pumpkins decorate many front porches, and Halloween is right around the corner so to celebrate this time of year we are baking our spicy chocolate pumpkin muffins. We chose this recipe because it had pumpkin and chocolate in them, two of my favorite foods. Speaking of pumpkin, if you missed our pumpkin waffle recipe a couple years ago you may want to check it out as well!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs-room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla then mix in the pumpkin.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt,nutmeg and cloves. Mix into creamed mixture. By had stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This makes a dozen standard muffins or about 6 giant muffins. (If making giant muffins you will need to increase cooking time.)
These chocolate pumpkin muffins are very versatile. We serve them when we have a savory breakfast. They are also great snacks and can be served for dinner, especially at Thanksgiving. They are sweet and moist and can also be served for desert or as a midnight snack. Of course if you have a nut allergy you can eliminate the nuts. If you are watching your weight you can eliminate the chocolate chips and substitute applesauce for half the butter. If you want these to be healthier you can substitute half the flour with whole wheat flour. Finally you can cut down on the calories by using a mini-muffin pan rather than the standard or giant muffin pans. Remember to reduce the cook time if you use a mini-muffin pan.
Remember, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast posts a recipe once a month so you want to check back often so you don’t miss one of our monthly recipes!
See the fall colors by air in a hot air balloon! The Lynchburg area is a colorful area in the fall. The brilliant fall colors can be seen while driving the windy mountain roads, hiking the many trails trails, kayaking down the James River, strolling the paved walking paths of the Blackwater Creek Trail system or by air in a hot air balloon.
Kathy and I took such a trip last winter. While it was too late to see the fall colors we enjoyed the peacefulness of floating above the trees, seeing the deer run through the forest and the quietness of flight (except when the gas valve was opened to keep the hot air balloon afloat). If you would like to indulge yourself and do something very special then consider booking your flight on your next visit to The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. The company that offers hot air balloon flights is Freedom Flights (click their name to be linked to their website where you can book a flight or purchase a gift certificate).
What you need to know about taking a hot air balloon ride is that Freedom Flights will cancel the flight if the winds are too high or if the weather is too bad. Obviously they are concerned with your safety so check the weather forecast before you book your flight. Currently they are running a $50.00 off per person special through November 10, 2013 so don’t delay in purchasing your tickets or gift certificate. The other interesting thing is that you will never know what you will see on these trips. The wind takes you where it wants to so each trip is different.
If soaring above the tree tops in a hot air balloon is not for you then there are plenty of other opportunities to enjoy the fall colors. Here are links to a couple of hikes that we have taken that should be spectacular when the fall colors are at their peak.
High Bridge Trail is a park on an old rail road line. This is a very flat and easy walk where you will walk over a very long bridge and see the fall colors from above.
Crabtree Falls is a moderate hike through the woods and up a mountain along water falls. This takes you on a nice drive where you will also see lots of colors. Don’t forget to stop at Woodson’s Mill and Bold Rock Hard Cider when you go to Crabtree Falls.
Falling Water Cascades is an easy walk. You will be driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and will see some great colors.
Disclaimer: The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast or the innkeepers have NO affiliation with this or any other hot air balloon company. For insurance purposes we are unable to recommend this company, however we had a great time when we went on our hot air balloon trip and would do it again, Call us at 434-846-1388 to book your reservation at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and if you would like a balloon trip, click on the above link to purchase your tickets.
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