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It's All About the Baking came about because I want to share my Gluten-free baking. I've developed recipes and tricks over the past ten years so I could enjoy old favorites that tasted, well, just like the old favorites! Hundreds of experiments and tastings (including and especially friends who can eat gluten) later, I'm ready to share!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cocoa-date Muffins

Let's eat!
  This time of year I think of spices reminiscent of the holidays, foods richly layered with flavors. These muffins have been forming in the back of my mind for the past couple of weeks, and with the anticipated arrival of a friend for tea this afternoon, it was time to get serious. Though cocoa powder is a key ingredient, these are not chocolate muffins. Not overly sweet, they have a deep, rich flavor. Tea anyone?

Sift or whisk together:
1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour*
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dates, chopped
Sifting dry ingredients

Beat together:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp espresso powder dissolved in 2 TB hot water or 2 TB water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mixing dry and wet ingredients

Pour the combined liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir thoroughly scraping the bowl down; a silicone spatula does the job efficiently. Once combined, cover the bowl of batter (which will be very thick and dough-like) with plastic wrap or a clean plate and let sit on the counter at room temp for half an hour. Letting the dough rest allows the flours to absorb the liquid and the oil, You'll get a good rise in the oven, too.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease, or line with muffin papers, 12 muffin cups. Divide batter between the cups and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until done. If your oven heats unevenly, rotate the pan at the ten-minute mark. Cool in pan on wire rack for ten minutes then serve. Once muffins have cooled, seal in a plastic zipper bag. If you won't be using them within a day or so, double wrap them and freeze.

Ready to be served

These tender muffins brought smiles all around!

** ATK flour blend:
24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup white rice flour
7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
7 ounces (3/4 cup) potato starch
3/4 ounce (3 TB) nonfat milk powder
If you want to understand the science behind why this works, please buy the ATK cookbook.