My kids are very considerate. They always offer me tastes of their gluten bakery items, even if they know I will need to turn them down. Unfortunately, most pastry shops don't service gluten-free customers.
The last time we were at a local pastry shop, my children wanted to try some of their chocolate chip muffins. My daughter was worried that I wasn't going to get anything, but this particular pastry shop is a veritable bonanza of wheat - it's even in their meringues. So she made me promise her that I would make chocolate chip muffins that I could eat too.
On our previous visit to this pastry shop, I asked the clerk if they had anything that did not have wheat in it. She said, "No." They had meringues in the case, so I asked her if the meringues were wheat free. She said, "Yes." Hmmmm..... So, I bought one just to check it out. The clerk was right the first time. They put wheat in their meringues. Ignoring gluten and focusing on taste alone, a meringue cookie with wheat and nuts and then sprinkled with wheat (no, it wasn't powdered sugar) is pretty disgusting. It makes you want to act like your kids and wipe your tongue with a napkin. Yuck.
So, on to tastier things. After looking through my cook books, I selected the Fanny Farmer Cookbook as my source of inspiration. Their basic muffin recipe is an excellent base that allows the extra ingredients to shine. Hoping that this same quality could be transfered to my gluten free version, I set to work. This is what I did:
2/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup oat flour
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup almond meal
3 Tb arrowroot flour (You can use almond meal instead)
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 tsp kudzu powder, dissolved in the milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips, regular sized
(Optional: 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, add to dry ingredients before adding liquids)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the insides of a cup cake pan with paper liners. In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Remove it from the heat and add in the milk, beaten egg and kudzu powder. Make sure to blend the kudzu powder. In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Pour the liquid mix into the dry ingredients and blend. Do not over mix. Keep it a bit lumpy. Resist the urge to blend well.
Fill the cup cake papers 2/3 full. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the tops of the muffin batter. Press lightly to make sure the chips stay attached to the muffin tops. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 1 dozen muffins.
How did they turn out? Beautifully. They are a lovely golden brown with just a slightly sweet taste, which allows the topping (chocolate chips or crumb) or filling (such as nuts or fruit) to shine. My daughter didn't really care for the muffins. She wanted them to be sweeter and have chocolate chips inside the muffin, not just on top. My husband and son thought just the opposite. They liked the chips on top and weren't too sweet. I agree with them. They are delicious...just like a muffin is supposed to be.