Espresso Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (gf, df)

Espresso Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (gf, df)

It took me two rounds to perfect this recipe. I am picky with my baked goods, and having to bake gluten-free makes me even pickier. My goal is always to create a baked good that I could put down in front of someone, without telling them what’s in it, and not have them say it’s “pretty good for being gluten-free”, but that’s it “REALLY good”, period. I think I achieved that with this muffin.

Basically, this muffin is the perfect solution to your 3 PM energy crash. It gives you complex carbs and healthy fats to prevent the “hangry” from coming on, and the staying power to get you through till dinner. It gives you a little dose of caffeine with the ground espresso, and it has chocolate in it. Chocolate just makes everything better.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp. espresso beans, ground in a food processor, or 3 tbsp. instant coffee
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chunks, plus more for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray, or oil with a little olive or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl combine all wet ingredients (eggs through apple cider vinegar, above). Whisk until well combined — your batter should be smooth and creamy.
  3. Next, add in all dry ingredients (except for the chocolate chunks). Stir to mix, then fold in the ½ cup of dark chocolate chunks.
  4. Spoon your batter into 9 muffin cups, and top with a few additional chocolate chunks. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let cool for about 5 minutes, and then enjoy!

Pumpkin Pecan Oat Scones with Maple-Almond Butter Glaze (gf, df, v)

Pumpkin Pecan Oat Scones with Maple-Almond Butter Glaze (gf, df, v)

I will preface this by saying I was not a scone person (before making these). I think I liked the idea of scones more than I actually liked scones — which I used to associate with being super dry, flaky, and not all that flavorful. If I was going to have something sweet, a scone was not going to be my first choice.

But the idea of scones…

Am I the only one who feels like when you’re eating a scone, you need to also be sipping coffee in one of those well-lit, white-washed “Instagram kitchens”, curled up in a chunky knit sweater with perfectly “I-didn’t-just-wake-up-like-this” hair? Or maybe you’re a fashionable upper-class woman who stops at the cafe every morning to sip espresso and eat a ~scone~ before work.

Scones are definitely the cool-girls of pastries.

I decided to give them a fair try, and tweaked and played with a few existing scone recipes to create this one — which is inspired by My New Roots and Cookie & Kate. My scone recipe is gluten- and dairy-free, as well as vegan. And I can confidently say it is the complete opposite of everything I used to hate about scones, plus everything I had hoped they would be.

These scones are crispy on the outside, but are wonderfully moist and soft on the inside. When you take a bite, you immediately get a great, creamy, pumpkin middle. The glaze, as well, is to-die-for, and I think a huge part of what makes this dish. I created my own glaze recipe from scratch, because I didn’t like that most scone glazes are primarily powdered sugar. Mine is refined-sugar-free, and just the right amount of sweetness. The trick is to pour the glaze over the scones while they’re only a few minutes out of the oven. They will soak it right up, and the glaze will fill every wonderful nook and crack in the scones.

Also – be generous. You’ll have excess glaze that will spill off the scones and onto the pan, but that’s ok. It lets the glaze seep into all sides of the scone, which makes it really delicious and fun to eat!

Pumpkin Pecan Oat Scones

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup solid coconut oil
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Maple-Almond Butter Glaze

  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter (drippy is best)
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425º F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread your 1 cup of pecans on top, and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Keep a careful eye on them, as nuts do burn quickly. Once slightly cooled, chop the nuts into fine pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, 3/4 of the chopped nuts, baking powder, coconut sugar, and spices. Whisk together.
  4. Next, use either a pastry cutter or a fork to “cut” your solid coconut oil into your dry ingredients. Mix well.
  5. Stir in your pumpkin puree, almond milk, and vanilla extract. It should take a while to get everything incorporated, and your dough should be fairly dense and stiff. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to knead the last bits of the dough together.
  6. Form your dough into a circle that is about an inch tall all the way around. Cut into 8 even slices (like a pizza), and then place on your parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly browned on the outside.
  8. While the scones are in the oven, prepare your glaze by whisking all ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
  9. After you take the scones out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, and then generously pour your glaze on top. Really let the glaze seep into all sides and cracks of the scone. While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle your remaining pecan pieces on top.