When Star was born, it was ridiculously freezing cold in Durham.
As the nurse wheeled me and my 30-minute-old newborn to our hospital room, she pointed out the rooms that were being used for doctors and nurses to spend the night in because it was too dangerous for them to drive home.
When we came home two days later, my mom had my girls all dressed up in snuggly sweaters and a batch of these pumpkin muffins cooling on the counter.
It was so cold the rest of the week that the only time I left the house was to take Star to her pediatrician's appointment when she was about five days old.
We spent the rest of the time trying out new recipes (I was on a major cooking/baking binge that week) and sitting around visiting while I snuggled my new baby.
The day my mom was supposed to fly out, the power went out thanks to a huge snowstorm and stayed out for nearly 12 hours. Her flight ended up getting pushed back a day and I was delighted to get that extra day with her (and for one last nap before going back to real life).
My memories of that week make these muffins seem like the coziest afternoon snack in the world. And even if our chances of getting snowed in here are slim to none, they still seem like the thing to make all fall and winter.
Also, you could make them without chocolate chips but. . . why would you?
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
(adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Muffins cookbook)
Makes 1 dozen muffins
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line your muffin tin and set aside.
Whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, and oil until smooth.
Pour the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices on top of the wet ingredients and then whisk until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips just until combined (don't overmix).
Divide between the muffin tins and bake, about 25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly-browned and spring back when you press them gently with your finger.
Let cool for a few minutes then remove from the muffin tins. Serve warm.