Things are getting pretty spooky around here and in just a few days the kiddies will be lining up for yummy treats! I love seeing them all dressed up in their Halloween garb and can’t wait to give them the assortment of candy I bought.
I especially can’t wait to whip up and enjoy a little trick or treat of my own. This great recipe for Pumpkin, Chocolate and Cheddar Muffins is the perfect mix of salty and sweet, with a surprising combination of chocolate and Canadian cheese – my two favourite things!
The savoury Canadian Mild Cheddar compliments the bittersweet chocolate in a way you won’t even believe. So after all that time spent handing out candy, you’ll be able to satisfy your own little sweet tooth as well.
And when the night is over, I’m looking forward to sitting down with a nice glass of dessert wine to enjoy with my scrumptious muffins. Rosewood Harvest Gold Mead is full of lilies, chamomile, clover, Asian pear, pineapple, and a touch of bees wax. With a medley of fruitful flavours, it will bring out the tartness in the cheese and the sweetness in the pumpkin and chocolate.
Another great dessert wine is Torres Floralis Oro Moscatel from Spain. Not only is it one of my favourite dessert wines, it is a great value wine as well.
After all the yummy goodness from the wine and muffins, I’m sure I’ll be feeling as giddy as a kid in a candy store by the end of the night. I hope you do too!
2/3 cup (160 mL) brown sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (250 mL) homemade or store-bought pumpkin purée
2/3 cup (160 mL) milk
½ tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 cup (250 mL) wheat bran
1 cup (250 mL) quick-cooking oat flakes
1½ cups (375 mL) unbleached flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
½ cup (125 mL) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup (180 mL) Canadian Mild Cheddar, diced
Preheat oven to 350oF (180oC).
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the brown sugar. Add melted butter, pumpkin purée, milk and vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients and make a well in the centre. Pour liquid ingredients into the well and mix just until combined.
Divide batter into a muffin pan, greased and floured, or use paper muffin cups.
Bake in oven for 25–30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
To make homemade pumpkin purée:
Wash exterior of pumpkin and cut in half. Remove seeds and fibrous parts. Cut into large chunks. Put pumpkin chunks, with peel facing up, in an oven-safe dish.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for about 1 hour or until tender.
Using a spoon, remove flesh and thoroughly drain. Discard peel. In a food processor, blend pumpkin flesh to a purée.
Approximately 1 lb (450 g) of pumpkin yields about 1 cup (250 ml) of purée.
Purée can be frozen and kept for several months.