We’ve had a lot of snow over the past week here in Boston so like many others I’ve been doing a lot of cooking (and eating! too much eating!).
One of the best things I’ve made during the past week is these muffins (or cupcakes). I modified a cake recipe from The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam to create these muffin/cupcakes.
I say they’re muffin/cupcakes because they feel more like a treat than muffins, but I choose not to make any frosting, so that makes their status as “cupcakes” questionable. For me, the chocolate chips make frosting unnecessary.
Like most things I bake these straddle the line between “treat” and “sustenance.” They’re made of high-protein almond flour, so they’re filling in a way your standard muffin isn’t.
I have been experimenting with using coconut oil in place of other oils and have discovered something interesting. Unrefined coconut oil is not supposed to be heated above 280 degrees (or something like that), so it shouldn’t be good for baking muffins cooked at 350 degrees. Except that it is! I’ve made this recipe with both unrefined and refined coconut oil (expeller pressed only please) and I find the unrefined coconut oil makes a richer more luscious muffin. The refined coconut oil is really good too, but it has a slightly less luscious result.
I recommend using the best quality dark chocolate chips you can find. Using good chocolate here really elevates this simple treat into something special. I try to get chips that are at least 70% dark chocolate when I can. You can also chop up a couple of nice chocolate bars to mix in with whatever chips you use–even a small amount of high-quality chocolate makes a difference here.
Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins
3 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cp coconut oil, melted (or any other light oil or melted butter)
1/4 cp maple syrup (or any liquid sweetener)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cp mashed ripe bananas (2-3)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (or chopped up chocolate bars)
1/2 cp chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with paper baking cups.
In large bowl combine almond flour, salt and baking soda.
In a separate bowl combine the oil, liquid sweetener, eggs and vanilla. Stir into the almond flour mixture. Add mashed bananas, chocolate chips and pecans and stir to thoroughly combine.
Scoop into prepared muffin pan, bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out dry.