eat well, live free

Holiday muffins and cookbook giveaway!

Chocolate persimmon muffinWow.

It is extremely hard to contain my excitement right now for two reasons.

First, because we appreciate all of you so much, we are kicking off the season with a cookbook giveaway in honor of our first holiday with you.

Second, I successfully made my first muffins. Ever. In preparing for this post, I fed the trash bin four dozen cookies this week. Then I changed cookbooks. The resulting chocolate persimmon muffins are so scrumptious and bold, we styled the featured photo using a “leader of the pack” theme.

I call my inability to bake a strategic move to lessen my carb intake. Whatever it is, or was, the lifelong streak is over thanks to Kim Boyce and Amy Scattergood and their decadent cookbook titled GOOD to the GRAIN, Baking with Whole-Grain Flours and their recipe for these muffins.

We are giving away a gorgeous copy of this phenomenal cookbook. Kim and Amy explore the uses of flours and grains to make layer after layer of flavor. There are recipes for cakes, cookies, waffles and more. Kicking white flour out of the house and adding teff and buckwheat will make your mixer sing, I promise!

To enter to win, subscribe to our blog.  We will randomly choose a winner from the first 100 people who sign up. Plus, your name can be entered twice for additionally liking us on Facebook from now until December 24, 2011. The winner will be sent an e-mail on Christmas morning before we go eat tamales at my great aunt’s house with the family.  Good luck and please help us spread the word by forwarding this post.

Chocolate persimmon muffins

dry stuff
1 c buckwheat flour
1 1/2 c all-purpose whole wheat flour
1/2 c cocoa powder (dagoba worked wonders here)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
(At this point I pathetically called my mother-in-law and grandmother over to help me.)

wet stuff
3 oz cold butter cut into 4 pieces
1/4 c dark brown sugar
1/4 c organic cane sugar
2 free range eggs
1/2 c plain yogurt

2 c Hachiya persimmon pulp (it absolutely matters which persimmons you buy)
4 oz bittersweet 60% chocolate (I used dagoba dark chocolate bars cut into small chips)

This is not brain surgery. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the muffin tins with butter.

Sift all the dry ingredients together into a bowl. Set aside.

Combine the butters and sugars in the mixer bowl. Mix on low, scraping intermittently until combined. Set to high speed until creamed, scraping a few times. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Add the yogurt and mix until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. The inverted clear spout attachment for the mixer came in handy for this step (Thanks for the tip Josie, I had no idea what that was for!).

Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and incorporate the persimmon purée and the chocolate by hand.

Fill the muffin pan cups slightly above the rim. Bake for 33 to 37 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Twist the muffins out by hand or using a butter knife and set on a rack to cool.

Consider yourself a baker now.

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