Not to completely gush on Sweet Laurel, but I'm pretty smitten! I've long been a baker, but recently I've evolved my style to focus on more "healthy" baking - no refined sugars, no white flour, etc. But everything I'd come across seemed counterintuitive to the intention, as the ingredient list was loaded with processed foods and/or fake foods trying to mimic their replacements.
Enter Laurel Gallucci. I am thoroughly impressed by the recipes she offers in her cookbook. They are easy to make, taste really good (and not just because they're "healthy" - they just plain taste good), and the ingredients are super straightforward (check out that ingredient list below!). Partnering with Claire Thomas' design expertise was a boon for the brand, too!
And, the best part, is that my daughter will actually eat these! She has definitely inherited her mother's sweet tooth, so I try to balance out the treats she eats. These muffins are so yummy and so loaded with chocolate I don't even have to fib to her about the ingredients used. She willingly devours these no questions asked. And, so does her mom. 😉Print
Be sure to use paper liners, as these tend to stick to the muffin tin, no matter how well you grease it. And, reminder: Even though you'll still use a 12-cup muffin tin, only fill 9 of the cups with batter. 🙂
- 2 ½ cups almond flour (260 g)
- ¼ cup 100% unsweetened cacao powder (24 g)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp fine-grain salt (like table or sea salt)
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TB vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chocolate chips, divided (4 oz)
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cacao, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Fold in ½ cup (3 oz) of the chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter among the 9 prepared muffin cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
- To make the chocolate drizzle, melt the remaining ¼ chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 15-30 seconds. (Since there aren't a lot of chocolate chips, this will melt quickly.) Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the muffins. Let the chocolate set, then serve.
- There are two types of almond flour on the market, "Blanched" and "Natural." Blanched means the almond skin has been removed, so the flour is lighter and more uniform in color, while the Natural will look more brown. Both work equally well in this recipe. I, personally, prefer Blanched Almond Flour.
- If labeling at the store is getting you confused, know that for all practical purposes, "almond flour" and "almond meal" are the same thing.
- Feel free to use unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder - both are equally delicious. If using cocoa powder, both natural and Dutch-process work well in this recipe.
- I would hope it goes without saying, but just to be clear, please use 100% pure maple syrup in this recipe. Save the Aunt Jemima's for another use.
- To save on dishes, I measure the maple syrup in a 2-cup measuring cup, and then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. No need to dirty another bowl!
- When testing for doneness, try not to hit a chocolate chip, as the toothpick will emerge covered in melted chocolate, misleading you on the doneness of the actual muffin.
- The chocolate drizzle is completely optional and rather over-the-top. But it sure looks pretty. 🙂 Another option is to omit the drizzle, but top each muffin with a few extra chocolate chips before baking.
- These freeze wonderfully (even with the chocolate drizzle). I like to make a batch on Sunday, throw them in the freezer, and then use for lunches throughout the week.
- As the original headnote of this recipe states, even though these "muffins" are essentially chocolate cupcakes, they do contain 10g of protein each (thanks, almond flour!), so passing them off as a "healthy" treat works for me! 😉
- Recipe slightly adapted from my go-to better-for-you baking book, Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts by Laurel Gallucci & Claire Thomas, included in the list of My Favorite Baking Cookbooks.
- Very slight editorial clarifications were made to this recipe June 1, 2021.
Keywords: Sweet Laurel, Sweet Laurel Bakery, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Chocolate, Breakfast, Brunch, Muffins, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Paleo