Healthy and Sane

Healthier peanut butter and choc chip pumpkin muffins

December 2nd, 2010 · 21 Comments · baking, muffins, pumpkin

In case you haven’t noticed from the recap in my last post, there have been a lot of sweets consumed over the past two weeks. None of them came into my life unwillingly (like those office sweets that just jump out of nowhere at unsuspecting dieters). I made every one except for the cake and pies consumed on Thanksgiving. And the day after. What, not everyone eats leftover cake for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving? So yeah, I made them on purpose. But then I ate them, waaaaay too many of them. What can I say, the second sugar hits my lips, it’s like crack. I can’t stop.


So when people ask me how my lifting program is going, I can’t really tell them much because while I’m following the lifting portion of the program, and yes – eating more protein, all those sweets kind of undo the hard work. [I’ve seen no body changes so far and gained another 0.6lbs in the last 2 weeks. And no, it is NOT muscle mass.]


I polish them off so that “they’ll be gone and I can be better tomorrow” which is silly, really. But not in that moment… at that moment it seems oh so logical. So I decided something. When baking, I’m going to stick to healthier treats from now on. So that there is no guilt and no urge to binge just one more time before I try to be better. And hey, healthier doesn’t mean less tasty anyway. So really, it’s a win-win. Open-mouthed smile We’re going back to the basics here. I got a little too lax about treats in the name of “intuitive eating” but clearly intuitive (sweets) eater I am not.


Btw, how do you like my pumpkin muffin pan? Isn’t it the cutest? I’ve been meaning to use it for about 12 months now. Ever since I got it on sale at Crate & Barrel last year after their fall collection was switched to Christmas-themed. And what do you know, I’m using it smack in the middle of Christmas season. Oh well, better late than never.

I’ve been craving pumpkin muffins like it was my job, so last night my pumpkin dream became a reality. It was rainy, dark and our kitchen was clean (thanks to Adam, our dish cleaning master). Oh and right about the same time, I stumbled upon a printout of Lauren’s pumpkin muffins with spiced cream cheese filling recipe. These were based on Ellie Krieger’s pumpkin muffin recipe, which I ADORE, so I knew there was a very good chance I’d love these too.


I followed Lauren’s recipe for the muffin dough + added 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup peanut butter chips (which coincidently Lauren sent me as a sweet present. Last time we saw each other, I was telling her how I could no longer find the natural kind. Thanks again, Lauren!!!). I also used 2T of sugar for the cream cheese filling (instead of 1), which I sandwiched between muffin halves after they were baked (there was enough filling for 6).


The result was fantastic. These are so moist!! They have just enough sweetness to make them feel like a treat, but I know with the whole grains and pumpkin I’m still taking care of my body. I will admit, I had one for breakfast today (with a plain Oikos) but devoured this model after his after-dinner photo-shoot tonight as well. He was as good as he looks Smile with tongue out


Do you think pumpkin recipe season is over? I think I’m usually late to these parties Winking smile

What are traditional “Christmassy” foods… except for cookies? I want to be season-appropriate. 😀

PS – For a savory recipe from me, check out my post on Moldavian grilled pork chops with garlic sauce.

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21 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Tiffany

    I love pfeffernusse (pronounced like ‘feffernoosen’) for Christmas! They’re German cookies – or Danish depending on your opinion – and they’re so delicious!

    Allow Wikipedia to explain:

    Beyond that, I love Kyle’s mother’s German pancakes (apparently I have a thing for my German roots, at least culinarily, lol). Best thing to wake up to on Christmas morning!! Yum!

  • #2 - Anna S @ History Running Girl

    These look delicious!

    We always eat cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.

  • #3 - Elizabeth

    These would be the key to my heart. I love the cute shape. And cream cheese frosting? Yes please. I hear you on the crack-like effects of sugar. I am also a cake-for-breakfast gal.

  • #4 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

    these look delicious! i have no idea how to be an intuitive eater when it comes to sweets… i go through phases but lately i have been way too stressed to be capable of that!

  • #5 - Lauren

    Yay for pumpkin muffins!

    Pumpkin season is NEVER over as far as I’m concerned ;).

    I love your addition of chocolate and pb chips (great use of the Sunspire chips!), and that pumpkin muffin tin is adorable.

    I equate the mint-chocolate flavor combination with winter and Christmas, and already have a few recipes featuring the flavor duo in the works :).

  • #6 - Michelle

    The pumpkin pan is SO adorable! I’m with you…I love eating a slice of pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas!

  • #7 - A Boston Food Diary

    Of course not! Pumpkin Season is a state of mind- I feel like if the mood hits- go with it! These look and sound delicious! I love that you added both chocolate and peanut butter!

  • #8 - Tracy

    Why don’t bake sale items ever look like that? :) I’d be willing to sell out some serious silver for a little muffin that looks like a pumpkin.

    I totally have that mindset with sugary foods as well, I always tell myself, “What difference does it make if I finish this bag (ex chocolate covered pretzels) today or tomorrow? It’s still going to be bad for me so I might as well eat it all now and get it over with.” It’s completely irrational but somehow it always happens ..

  • #9 - Kelly

    That is an adorable little pan! I love getting seasonal and odd kitchen gadgets when they are on sale. You know what I miss, the williams sonoma outlet at Wrentham. So, so good. We don’t have one here in Illinois and I definitely miss it.

  • #10 - Carly

    Missed reading your blog :) And I definitely think that pumpkin baking season never ends…. its too yummy!

  • #11 - Sues

    Wow, Elina, this is an awesome idea!! And I absolutely love the muffin pan. The muffins are so cute!! So glad you’re back :)

  • #13 - Kayla (Little Miss Healthify)

    Those are the cutest little pumpkin cakes I ever laid eyes on! Love them!

  • #14 - Kerstin

    Oh wow, these look scrumptious! I’m still baking with pumpkin and plan to all winter so keep the pumpkin recipes coming :)

  • #15 - Summer

    What a wonderful blog and am sure glad to find u !
    Oh the muffin mold is super cute , i love u got it on sale!
    Actually if u cut it into half ,u cud replicate a wreath u know!
    Well ,almost!:-)

  • #16 - Lizzy

    Those are the cutest things I’ve ever seen!!! Wow!

  • #17 - Rachael

    Very cute pans! And I’m loving your Russian food posts – the inner Russophile in me can now manifest in edible form :)
    I’m a little pumpkined out these days, but I wonder about incorporating pomegranates into more baked goods and holiday dishes…’tis the season!

  • #18 - One Healthy Apple

    So glad you are back from your break. I’m usually behind on the trends, so pumpkin doesn’t see late to me at all- it was just Thanksgiving within the last couple of weeks.

  • #19 - beck

    your pumpkin muffins look like kueh baulu! a popular snack in singapore/malaysia =)

  • #20 - Val

    Hi Elina,
    As I read the first part of your post I was thinking, geez, we share the same challenge. I’ve been real good with my workout program (yay) but that sugar crack still is a challenge. Time to make more pumpkin cookies.

  • #21 - Shannon

    very cute pan, and delicious muffins! i’ve been trying to stay away from baked goods lately as my will power has been non-existent. but i have snacked on said pb chips…..