Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dark Chocolate and Squash Muffins

These muffins were really something. They contain squash purée, which makes them moist and makes one feel like they’re at least somewhat healthful, and they are delicious. As it turns out, they’re gluten-free, but no one here guessed it. They were especially good warm (I called them “perfect” in my notes), but were great at room temperature after a few days as well.

The original recipe calls for kabocha squash, but I used half a small butternut squash that I had left over from this recipe. I’m pretty sure that any winter squash would do, maybe even sweet potato. Note that the original recipe also recommends homemade squash purée, not canned, as the texture is better. (An easy way to do this is to halve a squash, rub the cut sides with oil and bake the whole thing at 425 °F for 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. The flesh can then be scooped out and puréed.)

1 ¼ cups fine brown rice flour
2/3 cup coconut sugar (I used cane sugar for a bit more sweetness)
½ cup almond flour
5 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. fine sea salt
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup kabocha squash purée (see note above)
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used 4 oz.)
cacao nibs, for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 °F and line a 12-cavity muffin tin with liners (I actually ended up with 15 muffins).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the wet a little at a time until combined (I used a wooden spoon), then fold in the chocolate.

Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cavity ¾ of the way. Top with a sprinkle of cacao nibs, if desired.

Bake in the center of your oven until a cake tester comes out clean, about 28-34 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove muffins and let them cool completely before eating.

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