Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins (aka Chocolate Filbert Muffins – Low Sugar, High Protein)

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This is what they look like before going in the oven. Usually I’d also have a picture of what they looked like when they came out of the oven, but they all got eaten before I got a chance to take a good shot. Too bad, because they were really gorgeous. Oops.

This recipe is a marriage of two indulgences: my double chocolate muffins and Nutella. They are full of hazelnuts (or filberts, if you prefer) and chocolate in multiple forms.

Hazelnut/filbert flour is available in some specialty stores, but you can also make it at home in a blender or coffee grinder. To get what you need for this recipe, pulse a scant cup of hazelnuts for 10 to 20 seconds (depending on the speed of your device) until the hazelnuts are reduced to a coarse meal (powder) with some larger chunks. Do not overblend, or the mixture will turn into hazelnut butter: delicious, but not usable for this recipe.

Scoop out the larger chunks and set them aside; they are your ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts. Sift the rest through a coarse sieve; that’s your ½ cup hazelnut flour.

I lightly rub the hazelnuts together before blending or chopping them to remove the reddish-brown skin, which has a somewhat bitter taste. I’m not too picky about this, though – Bob’s Red Mill skips this step when making its own hazelnut flour. If a skin is hard to remove, I leave it on.

Like my double chocolate muffins, these muffins aren’t super-sweet. That gives them a nice, dark chocolate flavor that beats Ferrero Rocher any day in my book. If you’re looking for something more cupcakey, you can double the sweetener – but why not try it this way first?

Supplies

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • mixing spoon or electric mixer
  • muffin tin with 12 2 ½-inch cups
  • cooling rack

Ingredients

  • ½ cup hazelnut flour
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup sugar or xylitol
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup chopped bittersweet baking chocolate or chocolate chips
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts (optional)

Making the muffins

  1. Mix the hazelnut flour, wheat flour, cocoa, sugar or xylitol, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large  bowl.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Batter should be somewhat lumpy.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chunks and ½ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts.
  5. Spoon batter into lined or greased muffin tin. Fill each cup about three-quarters full.
  6. Sprinkle the ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts over the muffin tops.
  7. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until the tops are firm and toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool on racks before eating.

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