Spice Muffins :: No White Flour/ No White Sugar

A simple pleasure is a spice muffin made with almond flour, no white flour, and ingredients from the SimplyCooking® Pantry.

A simple pleasure is a spice muffin made with almond flour, no white flour, and ingredients from the SimplyCooking® Pantry.

Spice muffins can be so simply made with fine ingredients from your own curated pantry and by stirring with your own fine hand.  When you bake foods like muffins for yourself, you choose the quality of ingredients and the size of the muffin.  I've chosen blanched almond flour and unsweetened applesauce instead of white flour and white sugar.  And I choose my own fragrant, organic spices which I know are fresh and of a high quality.    Coffee shop muffins are large, almost four times the size of ones I make.  Using standard tins, these muffins are a portion I prefer.  

The root of success in the kitchen is the pantry.  When stocked with basics that are high quality and fresh,  a curated pantry reliably provides  just what's needed for anything desired.  Making muffins can be such a simple thing and with quality ingredients I think making your own is both an indulgence and necessity.  

spice muffins

150 grams {1 1/2 cups} blanched almond flour

1 Tbsp arrowroot starch

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or your own combination of ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice

1/4 tsp. salt, Celtic sea salt preferable

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup grape seed oil 

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  In a second container combine the wet ingredients until perfectly smooth.  I find an immersion blender the most simple, or, beat well with a whisk or use hand held mixer.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well. Line a standard muffin tin and fill about 3/4 full with batter, making sure there is an even amount of batter in each.  The recipe will make 8 or 10 muffins, depending your type of paper liner.  Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 25 minutes, or until firm and golden.  



French Rose Raspberry Macarons, marthastewart.com

French Rose Raspberry Macaron

Marvelous macarons can be made in our own kitchens.   Almonds, powdered sugar, granulated sugar and eggs, staples in the SimplyCooking® pantry,  make the macarons,   I've perfected my macaron making thanks to this Martha Stewart recipe and  video from marthastewart.com.  

With this post featuring Martha's French Rose Raspberry Macarons, I introduce rose water as a SimplyCooking® spotlight ingredient.  The SimplyCooking® Rose Collection will explore the finest and simplest culinary and beauty applications for rose water.  Rose water lends an ethereal quality to food and beverages and is among the most beneficial ingredients to apply on skin.   Find rose water, or rose hydrosol,  in the baking, international, or skin care section of grocery stores such as Whole Foods Markets.  I purchase organic Bulgarian rosa damascena hydrosol from Cheryl's Herbs here in St. Louis.  

There's certainly nothing like Laduree for macarons.  Thanks to extensive resources like those shared by Martha Stewart, there's also nothing  to keep us from creating patisseries for fun and health with our own hands in our own kitchens.

Note:  Theses are the exact directions from marthastewart,com. They are impeccable and should be followed to a 'T.'' Please link to the  Martha Stewart recipe here and view the tutorial  on marthastewart.com here.  You, too, will be turning out these beautiful macarons.  ..  

french rose raspberry macarons {marthastewart.com}

Ingredients required from the SimplyCooking® Pantry:

2/3 cup {71 grams} sliced blanched almonds

1 cup {117 grams} confectioners'  sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup {53 grams} granulated sugar

1/2 cup raspberry jam {for the filling}

What else you need:

red or pink food coloring

a large piping tip and plastic piping bag or large ziploc bag

parchment paper

rose water* (Consult  a sales person if it is not clearly food safe.) 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in lower third.  Place almonds in a food processor; process until as fine as possible, about 1 minute.  Add confectioners' sugar; process until combined, about 1 minute.


2.  Pass almond mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.  Transfer solids in sieve to food processor; grind and sift again, pressing down on clumps.  Repeat until less than 2 tablespoons of solids remains in sieve.


3.  Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar by hand to combine.  Beat on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid) 2 minutes.  Increase speed to medium-high (6) and beat 2 minutes.  Then beat on high (8) 2 minutes more.  


4.  The beaten egg whites will hold stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whack out of the bowl.   Add rose water and food coloring, and beat on highest speed 30 seconds.  


5.  Add dry ingredients all at once.  Fold with a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula firmly through middle of mixture.  Repeat just until batter flows like lavas, 35 to 40 complete strokes.  


6.  Rest a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch round tip (Ateco #804) inside a glass.  Transfer batter to bag; secure top. Dab some batter remaining in bowl onto corners of 2 heavy baking sheets; line with parchment.  


7.  With piping tip 1/2 inch above sheet, pipe batter into a 3/4-inch round, then swirl tip off to one side.  Repeat, spacing rounds 1 inch apart.  Tap sheets firmly against counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles.*


8.  Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until risen and just set, 13 minutes.  Let cool.  Pipe or spread filling on flat side of half of cookies; top with remaining half.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate. 

*SimplyCooking® Note:  Here I dip my finger in water and smooth peaks that are too high.