It’s a rarity, but my husband and I had the opportunity to spend an entire day together this week- just us.
During the week.
We drove to the north shore and stopped at a lovely little café for brunch. Even though we ordered a rather hearty meal, I couldn’t help but notice the wide variety of freshly baked goods near the front of the café. Croissants, scones, muffins and brown bread. All baked in-store. All gorgeous.
On the drive home, I kept thinking about those baked goods. They smelled so fresh and inviting and the lemon tea biscuits were practically calling my name. I wish I had waited in the long line and brought some home with me. I normally prefer savory snacks over the sweet variety but these lovely and fragrant ones really grabbed my attention. I wanted to go home and bake something. Something really good.
And then I remembered my almonds.
After a small baking catastrophe last week, I ended up with an obscene number of blanched almonds. I wasn’t sure what to do with all of them but after a lot of deliberation, I decided to make almond flour. I then realized this solved absolutely nothing as I was left with the same sort of dilemma.
What to do with all of this almond flour?
Almond flour, or almond meal is really just finely ground up almonds. You can either use blanched almonds or whole ones with the skin on. I happen to have blanched ones on hand but I bet the whole ones would give a hint of toastiness to any recipe. It's quite easy to make your own, but you can also find it at your local bulk supply store.
I scoured cookbooks and online forums looking for recipes using almond flour, and finally settled on a muffin recipe using bits and pieces from various sources. I added fresh raspberries and mint from the garden to my version, and the final result was a moist, buttery, deliciously ‘cakey’ muffin.
I can’t imagine there will ever be a need for ‘regular’ muffins again as this one was so satisfying and ridiculously scrumptious. The best part about this basic recipe, is that you can include your own add-ins and combinations. I think I’m also going to try my hand at orange and basil and I bet lemon and blueberry would also be super tasty.
These muffins are only sweetened with honey and yet, I don’t feel they lacking in the “ this is a muffin but tastes like a cake” department. In fact, you won't miss the refined sugar one bit.
Oh right, and my very favorite part of all?
It only took moments to throw together. I just used a whisk to mix the wet ingredients and then added it to the dry ones. Fold in the mint and berries and voila! That’s it. No fancy mixers needed.
By the time my husband came home, there was only one left. I tucked it aside as I knew my children would fight over it. And I don’t like ‘splitting things evenly’ either as it's quite impossible to get things perfectly symetrical. So to avoid a blistering argument, I decided to hide it. Behind the toaster. Under a tea towel.
"I'm sorry my little darlings, but you've eaten every last one!"
As my little one drifted off to sleep last night, he asked if I could make more.
“And everyday mom. Make them every single day.”
I’m telling you, these little beauties are amazing. And since they are so easy, you can actually make them-every single day.