16 October 2014

Before I get to today's recipe, I have to share some exciting news.  I won a $500 grocery store gift card in a recipe contest!  I am so excited!  The gift card is for Festival Foods, a grocery store chain here in Wisconsin, and my favorite grocery store in Kenosha.  They chose my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza as the grand prize winner in their tailgating recipe contest for September.  I got the phone call yesterday and have been on Cloud 9 ever since!  They actually want to present the president of the company to present the gift card to me and do a photo op kinda thing.  Wow!  This pizza will forever more be known as "$500 Pizza" at our house! :)

Now onto today's recipe!  It's time for this month's Improv Challenge!

The premise of the Improv Challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it. 

This month's assigned ingredients were peanut butter and chocolate.  Classic combo!  The options were literally endless!  I started looking around and got so overwhelmed with all the chocolate and peanut butter goodies.  I decided that I needed a way to kind of narrow things down a bit.  So I challenged myself to find a peanut butter and chocolate recipe that also included a third ingredient.  Since it is October, I decided to throw pumpkin into the mix.  I wanted a recipe that included peanut butter, chocolate, and pumpkin.  I thought those ingredients would be good in a muffin.  I couldn't find the "perfect" muffin recipe that I had in mind, but I did find a quick bread over at Crazy for Crust.  It looked amazing.  Several people who tried it commented that they had trouble getting it to cook all the way through in the middle since it was such a heavy, dense batter, so turning it into muffins seemed like the perfect solution.  Here's how I made them.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
¾ cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
½ cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.  Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, pumpkin, eggs, peanut butter, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.  In another bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda.  Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined.  Gently fold in the chocolate chips.  Batter will be very thick, like cookie dough.

Divide batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.  Lightly press batter down into the cups and smooth out the tops as best you can, because these muffins won’t change their shape at all while baking.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and they begin to brown on the top.

Makes 12 muffins.

I wasn't sure how many muffins the recipe would make, but it ended up being the perfect amount of batter for 12 muffins.  

This is a most unusual muffin batter.  It is not thin like most muffin batters.  It is super duper thick like cookie dough.  It's kind of weird!  And like I said in the recipe directions, these muffins do not change their shape while baking.  However you put them into the muffin cups is how they are going to look when they come out.  They do not automatically conform to the shape of the muffin cup.  So make sure you press the batter into the cup so there are no little air pockets, and kind of round the tops off a little bit so they are pretty.  I didn't do that, and most of them were a little funky-looking, but that was okay.

I made these when my sister and her family were visiting and they were gobbled up.  I had never had the peanut butter/pumpkin combo before, so I had to sneak a taste of the batter after I combined those two things.  Wow!  I loved it.  It's a very interesting combo.  You can clearly taste both the peanut butter and the pumpkin, and they really do work well together.  I would say the peanut butter flavor is slightly more prominent than the pumpkin, but adding the pumpkin pie spice helps even it out a bit.  

The bread recipe said to mix most of the chocolate chips into the batter, then sprinkle the rest on top, so I did that with the muffins.  I don't recommend doing that, because the chocolate chips kept falling off of mine.  Maybe I didn't press them down enough, but next time I will just mix them all in.

Even though we loved them, I probably won't make these muffins a lot because one of my daughters is allergic to peanuts.  The day I made these, I also made a batch of my Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffins for her, subbing chocolate chips for the cinnamon chips.  I would guess that these muffins can be made with almond butter instead of peanut butter; maybe I will try them that way and see how they turn out.

Be sure to check out all the great peanut butter and chocolate recipes below and come back next month to see what I make with apples and cinnamon!

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  1. Yum! Congrats on the contest! I love festival! Recipe sounds delicious and is really close to the recipe I made! I loved the combination!

  2. Congratulations on the $500 pizza! What a wonderful treat for you. I am sure you will have a lot of fun spending it! :-)

  3. Sorry you had problems with it. I can see the link-up on your post just fine and I added your thumbnail, so you should be good to go now.

  4. Thanks for taking care of the situation, Lesa. I needed to go to work. Technology is a real headache sometimes. Have a great week end.

  5. Congratulations on building the winning pizza for your contest, Lesa! And thanks for "hostessing" another successful Improv Challenge... those muffins look quite tasty!