28 September 2013

Apple Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins

This weekend marks our first year in this apartment (!), (with its tiny kitchenette : ). Last year at this time I was caught in the midst of two visits to different Ikeas in the same day, while today I am able to sit on the couch, look around me and ponder the fact that things do come together.

I've learned a ton this year, about cooking and so much more. And this I hope to say every year. The kitchen itself can teach you so many lessons. From keeping it stocked and in production, to brainstorming meals, to why spur of the moment baking is good and can also dig you into a hole and how to tell the difference (maybe there's another post in that topic), to adventures with almond flour and different whole grain flours, to managing budgets...oh, yes, I've learned...I've learned that turning on the oven is sometimes a spark to think of all the things to cook at once or in succession of each other...

And I've learned that sometimes it's better to just cook the one thing and go do something else : )

I've learned that having a kitchen running like a well-oiled machine in terms of advance prep and production is incredibly empowering and saves tons of $$...
And I've learned that it is essential to let go of all that, go out to eat , shop minimalistic and let your fridge deplete itself to bare bones sometimes... before diving in again to seize the harvest...

Speaking of the Harvest.

My sister, mom and I picked some apples last week and after having my share of them raw I'm jumping on the baking bandwagon with these heavenly apple cinnamon muffins from the Vanilla Bean blog.

We love these muffins as a gluten/grain-free muffin. They possess a soft, light crumb and the grated apple melts into the batter while the cinnamon warms it and the cinnamon-coconut sugar sprinkle atop gives the whole thing that dusty outer crust a la donuts.

Yum. Totally worth grating an apple for. In my last post I mentioned how I'd been experimenting with the base almond flour muffin recipe to lighten it a tad. What I meant was, I'd made a rendition of Sarah's muffins and really liked the slight difference in relation to the apple inclusion. Not only is the crumb more delicate and soft from apple, but the one less egg and addition of milk here help to lighten the batter, and the different ratios draw out the quantity of batter to fill nine muffin wells instead of six.

There is not much tinkering needed here. While Sarah's recipe originally includes pecans, I had no pecans today so I just threw in a tiny spec of chopped toasted almonds. Once cooled and split, we topped them with an easy cinnamon-honey-butter spread (just the three of those items, stirred together and left out to soften) and welcomed fall. Have a great weekend!

Apple Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins
Barely adapted from Vanilla Bean

Note: the 2x I've made these my baking time was different than the original recipe. I'd say 20 minutes is a better guess but sarah originally says 16-18. Use your toothpick to test.

2 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (loosely packed) grated apple (I used half of a medium one)
Small handful chopped toasted almonds or pecans

To top:
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375, and line a muffin pan.

Whisk  almond flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon together. 
In another bowl, whisk together honey, oil, milk, vanilla, egg, and baking soda. 
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. 
Add the the grated apples and almonds if using and gently mix.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling the muffin cup almost to the top. 
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the tops.
Bake for 20 or so minutes (18-25 min range), until muffins are browned and a toothpick comes out clean. 
Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the tin and continue to cool on the rack. Split and enjoy!

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