28 April 2012

Rustic Rosemary Muffins

Imagine a rosemary-flecked, barely honey-sweetened, whole grain muffin with a deep dark chocolate finish. Running with the idea of having snipped rosemary into my last few batches of millet muffins, and remembering the rosemary olive oil cake from Heidi Swanson I made just about a year ago that features a dark chocolate top, I came up with a bit of a hybrid between these two.

The batter is the same as a millet muffin--plenty of lemon zest and a bit of juice with melted butter, honey, Greek yogurt, and spelt flour, but no millet. You'll indeed get extra cakiness out of the spelt flour here by sifting it, so that is a step not to be missed, and a hefty tablespoon of fresh rosemary perfumes the muffins with a rustic flavor. An intensity and depth emerge from the dark chocolate finish, a tinge of sweet from top crunch sugar. 

You can go several ways with the chocolate here, tossing it into the batter just barely, or leaving it in bigger chunks but I chose to shave it with a grater and let it melt on the top as the muffin cooks, just staining it, and I think that balances it out. This is, after all, a nice breakfast dish and perhaps it's best to have just a hint of chocolate at that hour.

I did enjoy these muffins wrapped in plastic and toted along as a handy, throw-in-your purse breakfast--but I had no idea what I was missing until a few days later when their true uniqueness and robust flavor was highlighted in more of a sit-down setting, split in half, re-toasted under the broiler for a bit and slathered with a dollop of raw honey and cultured, unsalted European-style butter.

Rustic Rosemary Muffins

1 c + 1 T Spelt flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 c honey
1/2 c Greek yogurt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c barely melted unsalted butter
Grated zest 1/2 lemon + 1 T juice
1 heaping T fresh chopped rosemary
About 1-2 oz high cacao dark chocolate bar, grated with grater.
2 t turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly grease and line a muffin tin with liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt in one bowl. In another, whisk yogurt, honey, butter and egg together, then add the lemon juice and zest. Incorporate both together then stir in the rosemary until just mixed. Pour into baking cups and press shaved chocolate on top of each one, as well as a sprinkle of sugar. Bake 15 minutes, let cool in the pan 5 mins, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Makes 6 muffins


  1. Oh and quick question- what is the difference between spelt flour and regular flour?

    1. Hi Love! Spelt flour is a non-wheat flour, made from Spelt grains, which have been cultivated for centuries, but it is still in the wheat family and has gluten, though a lighter form of gluten than wheat. It is a little lighter than whole wheat flour, but more nutritious than white all purpose flour. I think it is a great alternative to white flour but sometimes things can't bake with spelt alone, so adding some white flour is necessary,. If it is, getting unbleached white is best. I love spelt, in a nutshell, and in this recipe, it stands alone to use.