Chocolate, Orange, and Molasses Muffins
Chocolate, orange, and molasses combine to make these muffins absolutely delicious. These are our favorite muffins right now, and they have been gracing our table week after week while I have been refining the recipe. Most of my recipes come together in just one (or perhaps two) iterations; for whatever reason this particular recipe took probably 8 tries to refine the recipe to my satisfaction. The flavor was good from the start, but I kept making modifications to the recipe because I wanted the amounts and the texture to be just right. And now the recipe is finally ready!
This recipe makes use of a combination of flours: Einkorn (an ancient variety of wheat), coconut flour, and ground nuts. These three flours are currently my favorite combination for baking, as they result in a great taste and texture that we find easy to digest. Molasses gives these muffins a kick of nutrients since it is high in iron and calcium.
Chocolate, Orange, and Molasses Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
1 cup organic Einkorn flour
1/2 cup organic coconut flour
1/3 cup ground crispy pecans or almonds (or substitute almond meal)
3/4 tsp celtic sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) of grassfed butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sucanat
4 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
1 Tb organic vanilla extract (or use homemade vanilla)
3/4 tsp organic almond extract
1/3 cup whole milk plain yogurt, preferably from pastured cows
3 Tb blackstrap molasses
zest from 1 orange or 3 clementines, which makes about 1 tsp of packed zest (I use a microplane rasp, and it works wonderfully)
1&1/4 cup chocolate chunks (I use Enjoy Life soy-free chocolate mega chunks)
Line a muffin tin with paper cups. (I prefer If You Care Unbleached Baking Cups because the muffins do not stick to the sides of the cups.)
Combine the Einkorn, coconut flour, ground nuts, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk it all together to break up any lumps.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the butter and sucanat in a large bowl (a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer works great for this recipe). Cream together for a couple minutes until the mixture turns slightly lighter in color.
In the meantime, combine the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract in a small bowl. (I find that a Pyrex glass measuring cup works great for this because the pour spout makes it easy to add these ingredients to the mixer while it is running.) Do NOT mix up the eggs at this point.
Once the butter and sucanat/sugar have become well-mixed, mix in the eggs one-at-a-time. With my stand-mixer, I can just pour in each egg while the mixer is still running. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to get everything incorporated well. (It is okay if the mixture looks a bit curdled during this step.)
Mix the yogurt, molasses, and orange zest into the wet mixture.
Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time. Because the Einkorn flour does contain gluten, make sure not to overmix or the muffins will be tough. The batter will become rather thick, but don't worry about it.
Stir in the chocolate chunks.
Use a 3-Tb scoop or large spoon to scoop the batter into the muffin cups. There should be enough batter to fill the cups all the way to the top.
Bake the muffins at 350 degrees F for 24-28 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown on top and just a tiny bit glistening.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving. Serve alongside a glass of raw whole milk.
Once cool, leftovers that will be consumed within a couple days can be stored in an airtight container on the counter. The rest can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. I like to re-warm the muffins before eating them; that makes the chocolate chunks ooey, gooey, and oh-so-delicious.
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