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 Almond Muffins

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PostSubject: Almond Muffins   May 26th 2012, 12:48 am


Almond Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Almond oil is rich in omega-9 acids and so is a heart-healthy alternative to other fats. But almond oil can also produce gummy muffins. Here, a small amount of butter is combined with the aromatic oil for a lighter crumb with that characteristic,
nutty flavor. Almond oil is found in almost all gourmet markets and in some supermarkets
in the cooking oil section. Store it in the refrigerator, but let it come to room temperature
before using it in this recipe.

Nonstick spray or paper muffin cups
3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk (whole, low-fat, or nonfat)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup almond oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. To prepare the muffin tins, spray the indentations and the rims around them with nonstick spray, or line the indentations with paper muffin cups. If using silicon muffin tins, spray as directed, then place them on a baking sheet.
2. Spread the almonds out on a second cookie sheet and toast for about 5 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Transfer the nuts to a large plate and cool for 5 minutes.
3. Pour 1/2 cup of the toasted almonds into a mini food processor or wide-base blender; pulse 5 or 6 times until finely ground. Be careful not to grind the nuts to a paste. Transfer the ground nuts to a medium bowl; stir in the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
4. Whisk the egg, milk, honey, and vanilla and almond extracts in a large bowl until smooth and thick, about 1 minute, then whisk in the oil and butter until well combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup sliced almonds and the flour mixture just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
5. Fill the prepared tins three-quarters full. Use additional greased tins or small, oven-safe, greased ramekins for any leftover batter, or reserve the batter for a second baking. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown with rounded, cracked tops. A toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin should come out with a few moist crumbs attached.
6. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Gently tip each muffin to one side to make sure it isn’t stuck. If one is, gently rock it back and forth to release it. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool them for 5 minutes more on the rack before serving. If storing or freezing the muffins, cool them completely before sealing in an airtight container or freezer-safe plastic bags. The muffins will stay fresh for up to 24 hours at room temperature or up to 2 months in the freezer.

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