Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gluten-Free Almond-Poppyseed Muffins with Lemon Glaze

I have always loved muffins. The problem is/was that about two years ago, I went gluten (and relatively dairy) free. So long muffins of all kinds. Those 6am flights became trickier without a muffin and latte on the go for the flight. Sunday morning sleepy trips to Starbucks (or Grey Dog) weren't the same without a sweet wheat treat to go along.

And to be honest, I haven't really missed muffins/carbohydrates in general. I've found a couple of AMAZING gluten-free pizza crusts out there, actually prefer brown rice pasta to wheat, and thankfully can still indulge in French Fries. So, I've been OK.

Until two weeks ago, when I started going to the gym again at 5:45am (this time because it's the only time that my academic schedule permits, not because I was addicted to a specific 6:15am spin class (and working in midtown). A banana and muffin are the perfect accompaniment to my 8:45am Systems class. I'm already bored of Kind bars. Uh oh.

Luckily, one of my favorite (and conveniently Gluten-Free!) bloggers Jess Thomson saved my ass.(Literally. Gym. Will. Go. On. After all, I've got some Main Chute hiking and backcountry touring to stay in shape for...) She published a recipe inspired by Jeanne Sauvage's Applesauce Spice Muffins. I've taken the liberty to do away with yogurt (only butter and some alpine cheeses are OK for me...) and upped the almond factor. But don't worry -- they're awfully good :)

Lemon-Glazed Almond-Poppyseed Muffins 
Adapted from Jess Thomson, Hogwash

Makes: About 18 muffins

For the muffins:
Muffin liners
2 1/2 cups (350g) gluten-free all-purpose flour, such King Arthur
2.5 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
2/3 cup almond milk
Toasted finely chopped almonds, for topping (optional)

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 18 standard muffin cups (or 12 standard cups and 12 mini cups) with muffin liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add half the dry ingredients and mix on low to blend. Stir the almond extract into the milk, add to the bowl, and mix again. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

Spoon the dough into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about three quarters of the way full. Sprinkle the tops with almonds, if using. Bake the muffins until lightly browned (a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean), 12 to 15 minutes for mini muffins and 15 to 20 minutes for standard-sized muffins.

When the muffins come out, make the glaze: Stir together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack, then drizzle or brush a little glaze onto each muffin. Let the glaze cool for about 10 minutes, then enjoy warm.

Note: Muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

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