Happy Summertime! I hope you are enjoying these longest days of the year (in the Northern hemisphere). Although the weather has been summer-like here for several months, I was still holding on to Springtime's simplicity for as long as I could.
Springtime is typically when I start major projects, i.e. Spring Cleaning. This year, I'm moving a bit slower than usual in my clean-out efforts, but one of the first places that I started was with my overflowing book situation. If you've been to my house, you've seen my cookbook collection, or at least part of my collection which I keep in my kitchen. I have hundreds of cookbooks, you could say that I have a cookbook problem, right? How could I possibly use so many cookbooks, so many recipes? Truth be told, I can't use them all and I don't use them all. Some I've never even cooked from. Some I never will.
It took a fair amount of determination to pair-down my cookbook collection this spring. With new cookbooks being published constantly, and my wish list of cookbooks growing in my Amazon.com cart, I knew that I had to part with a significant number of books. I started by bringing a sturdy box into the kitchen and pulling books off the shelf that didn't align with my values anymore. Books that were outdated, that I'd never used or couldn't imagine using ever again. Once I went through my entire kitchen bookshelf and gathered nearly 30 cookbooks into the box, I took the books to the local library and donated them. I'm sure that they've found a happy home somewhere, and now I have space to add to my collection!
I've decided to be a bit more judicious with acquiring cookbooks, now that I have some empty space on my shelves. My local library has a very large cookbook section, and I'm in the process of "interviewing" cookbooks for purchase. Over the past several months, I've brought many cookbooks home. I flip through their glossy pages, reading the recipe headnotes and ingredient lists. Many books contain recipes similar to those I already make myself, so adding those books to my permanent collection seems silly. But then there are books with recipes that I'm not familiar with, and that's where this week's recipe comes from.
Sweet Laurel is a whole foods baking company in Los Angeles, which makes the most beautiful grain-free, dairy-free baked goods. I've heard of them, but unfortunately I've never tasted any of their cakes, pies, cookies, or muffins...until now. The duo behind this amazing company published a cookbook recently, and I was thrilled to bring the cookbook home from the library. As I flipped through the pages, I drooled. Each recipe looked better than the prior one. I couldn't believe how many recipes I wanted to bake immediately. I had to start somewhere!
The Double Chocolate Muffin recipe was the first recipe that I baked from this stunning cookbook. I've since baked the recipe two more times, in addition to a few other recipes from the book. I baked the muffins to take home for my dad, a self-professed chocoholic. "Are these muffins or cupcakes?", he asked. "Whatever you want them to be", I replied. With a list full of nourishing ingredients, they certainly qualify as a breakfast muffin. In the cookbook, they are found in the breakfast chapter. But the taste of these muffins are more decadent than any typical morning muffin, more along the lines of a dessert cupcake.
So I ask you to decide. Bake this recipe and let me know if you'd consider them a muffin or a cupcake. Regardless, you'll want to bake them again and again, I promise. And the Sweet Laurel cookbook is now part of my permanent collection, a book that I'll use often and not donate anytime soon...
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Double Chocolate Muffins
from the Sweet Laurel cookbook
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup 100% unsweetened cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until a batter forms. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter among the 9 lined muffin cups, filling each three-fourths of the way. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the tin, set on a rack, and allow to cool completely.
To make the chocolate drizzle, melt the remaining chocolate chips in a glass bowl, either for 10 seconds in a microwave or over a bot of boiling water. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over each muffin. Let the drizzle set, then serve. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days for ideal freshness or freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost before reheating in a low oven.