Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Maple Hazelnut Muffins

These maple hazelnut muffins were amazing. They came out of the oven browned with a crispy sweet exterior, thanks to the raw sugar topping. Inside, they had a warm hint of maple flavor and a sweet crunch of hazelnuts. I included buckwheat flour because it has been lying around in my freezer forever, and because buckwheat and maple are a traditional flavor pairing, but unlike my buckwheat apple & chocolate chip muffins, buckwheat takes the back stage here to sweet maple and sugar. You could easily replace the buckwheat flour with whole wheat pastry flour or more all purpose flour. Likewise, I used raw turbinado sugar, but brown sugar would also work well. I've heard that Grade B syrup produces a more pronounced maple flavor, but I used Grade A and was happy with the results. Hailing all the way from Turkey, the hazelnuts are decidedly not local, but the flour, egg, milk, and maple syrup all came from within 150 miles.

I think I left these in the oven a little too long, until they were slightly dried out, so I recommend taking them out earlier rather than later. Even if there's still a little maple goo sticking to your test toothpick, just tell yourself they'll probably keep cooking on the inside after you take them out of the oven.

Now if only I didn't have to bring these to work tomorrow and could keep them for myself and my loved ones...

Maple Hazelnut Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup canola oil (or melted butter)
1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped into halves or slivers
extra sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease one muffin tin for 12 large muffins or two muffin tins for about 16 small muffins. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Add hazelnuts. Spoon mixture into muffin tins and sprinkle sugar over top of each muffin. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

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