I had in mind to write some sort of silly April Fool’s joke post today. But, then I woke up and it was snowing and blowing and full-on blizzard-ing outside, and this was so very unfunny to me that I no longer felt like trying to write a funny post. It also destroyed my resolve not to talk about the weather because, oh you guys, the weather.
Therefore, I’m focusing on muffins instead. After all, one can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner.
This past weekend (when it was, now that we’re talking about the weather anyway, almost 40 and sunny – it was wonderful) I decided that I absolutely had to make blueberry muffins to make use of some of the vast quantity of blueberries we had picked back in August on a visit to Bayfield. They’d been sitting in the freezer since then, and while a great many had wandered their way into oatmeal, it seemed a shame not to make blueberry muffins with at least some of them. I whipped up a batch using my favorite muffin recipe (the best muffin recipe, if I do say so myself), brewed up some coffee, and invited a few friends over to help us eat them.
My friend Kate, however, told me she was trying out being gluten free for a month to see if it made her feel better. And because I firmly believe that being gluten-free should not mean missing out on muffins, I told her I would make her some gluten free muffins if she would still come over for a visit.
I found a version of these gluten free lovelies on Sarah’s The Vanilla Bean Blog – one of my very favorite blogs. Not only are they gluten free, they can actually be completely grain free if you choose, and they’re refined sugar free too. They’re made with almond flour so they bake up intensely moist and fragrant, sort of more like a financier than a muffin. I peppered them with chunks of dark chocolate and pear, not a new combination admittedly, but it’s one of my favorites, and one that turns out to be especially nice with the sweet, cherry-blossom flavor of almond.
These muffins are tender and fragile. This is something I actually look for in muffins, so much tenderness that their crumb barely holds together around the juicy bits of fruit in them. But, it does mean that if you have paper muffin tin liners, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if you use them! And they store best in the refrigerator to keep the moistness from turning to sogginess. At any rate, both these and the blueberry muffins were a hit. Another friend’s three year old ate four muffins all on her own. Boom, bang, bing, pow. Four muffins, right down the hatch, and a giant smile on her face (I guess she knows not to be agitated when eating muffins as well!). I consider that a ringing endorsement.
- 2 cups almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
- ½ cup rolled oats (replace this with more almond flour if you want grain-free muffins)
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup coconut milk (or milk/buttermilk/other milk alternative)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
- 1 small pear, diced into little pieces
- Heat your oven to 375F and line a muffin pan with 9 liners (or grease the pan well).
- In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, oats, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, coconut milk, vanilla, egg, and baking soda until mostly smooth and fully combined
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring in the chopped chocolate and pear at the end. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup almost to the top.
- Bake until brown and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling (or eat them warm!). These muffins are best eaten the day they are made, but I found they store pretty well if I kept them in the fridge.