Sunday, June 16, 2013

PaleOMG's Chocolate Maple Crunch Muffins

While I clearly enjoy cooking, baking will always be my first love. It was one of the first kitchen adventures I had as a kid and one of the things my parents would usually sacrifice the kitchen for. Especially my dad because he loved reaping the spoils of my baking sprees. And still does, of course! :)

[ Happy birthday & father's day, Dad!! ]

Nowadays, I try not to bake too often because "its not healthy." (Ugh, I wish I was a kid with a crazy good metabolism again.) On top of that, I try and keep paleo and paleo baking is a bit more finicky. There's just something slightly off the texture of most paleo treats. And I don't mean this in a bad way - all my paleo baking adventures have been tasty thus far! They just usually aren't the same as "normal" baked goods.

But  stop the presses! I found a muffin recipe that blows even non-paleo muffins out of the water. They taste crazy sinful, have the best texture almost like a cupcake, and the topping is (quite possibly) one of the best things I have ever eaten. And of course it comes to us from the paleo queen herself, Juli from PaleOMG.

Chocolate Maple Crunch Muffins

4 very ripe bananas
6 dried dates, pitted
4 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup (Definitely go with Grade B here and in any baking!)
5 heaping tablespoon coconut flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Big sprinkle of cinnamon
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
2. In a large food processor, puree bananas and dates until the dates are completely broken up and mixed in.
3. Add eggs, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup; mix well. 
4. Add coconut flour through salt; mix well. 
5. Fill the 12 cups evenly with batter. Add a heaping tablespoon of topping (recipe below) onto each muffin, spreading around the top.
6. Bake on a middle oven rack for about 30 to 40 minutes. They take awhile since they're pretty wet but start checking every few minutes at around 30 minutes. Overcooked, dry muffins are the worst.
7. Once done, let cool in pan on wire rack for at least 20 minutes. 

Note: I stored mine in the fridge, just because sometimes paleo baked goods get a little funky if left out too long. Don't know if these would. But I DO know that they were great straight from the fridge - a bit fudgy!

1 cup mixed nuts, chopped (She used almonds, walnuts, & pecans; so did I and loved the combo)
2 heaping tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
Big sprinkle of cinnamon
Pinch of salt

1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Use in step 5 of the muffin recipe.

Note: Next time I make these muffins, I will definitely double this topping recipe. It is the best part of the muffins and the more, the merrier!

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