Orange-Almond Snack Muffins

As you may recall me saying, I recently took a quick trip back home, and it was quite pleasant. I hung out at the lake and did something I rarely do: read magazines. I had forgotten how enjoyable it can be to just sit outside and flip through some casual reading material, since most of my reading is done on a computer, phone or basically anything with a screen. While reading Cooking Light, I came across this recipe for Orange-Hazelnut Snack Muffins. Since it combines two of my favorite things, miniature treats and baked goods under 100 calories, I decided to give it a go.

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I ran into a slight problem though. I couldn’t find hazelnut flour for the life of me. I went to the local grocery store and looked where all the baking products were, and to my surprise, there was no hazelnut flour. Thinking that maybe this meant I needed to go to more of a health food store, I drove to the nearest Whole Foods but again, no hazelnut flour. I whipped out my handy phone to do some quick research and read the apparently hazelnut flour can be pretty difficult to find and that the easiest way to get it is by ordering it online. I was also informed that almond flour, which I already had, can be used as a substitute, so that’s why I am sharing Orange-Almond Snack Muffins with you instead of Orange-Hazelnut Snack Muffins.

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Aside from my fruitless search for hazelnut flour, everything else went according to plan. Mama kept me company as I made the muffins, and we both commented at how orange-y they smelled. After each of us tried a muffin we agreed that although they were definitely good and we both liked the cornbread feel, the muffins seemed to smell more orange-y than they tasted, and we’d be down for a stronger orange presence.

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I was so curious about how the muffins would taste with some extra orange that by 6:30 the next morning, I was in the kitchen making another batch of muffins before I had to catch my return flight to DC. The orange flavor comes from both zest and juice. I didn’t measure what I was doing this time and just zested and juiced the heck out of an orange. After the muffins had cooled, I put two from the first batch in a plastic bag labeled “1” and two from the new batch in bag labeled “2.” I made a quick stop to visit my mom at work and gave her the “comparison muffins,” as I called them. Again, we both agreed that the second round of muffins was much better and that the orange flavor really popped.

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So if you would like your muffins to have more of a subtle flavor, stick to 1 1/2 tsp. orange zest and about 1 Tbsp. of orange juice. Otherwise, zest and juice to your heart’s content to enjoy a stronger orange taste. Of course I can’t guarantee now that the muffins are 81 calories a piece like the ones in the original recipe, but I think even with my substitutions, we can still consider this a delightful, low-cal treat. 🙂 And if anybody buys hazelnut flour, let me know where you get it: in-store or online? I enjoyed these orange-almond muffins, but I’m still curious as to where I can find that darn hazelnut flour!

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Orange-Almond Snack Muffins

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp. almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. milk (I used skim)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • At least 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind – add more for stronger flavor.
  • At least 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice – add more for stronger flavor.
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine oil, milk, agave nectar, orange rind, orange juice and egg. Whisk the mixture together.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Whisk mixture together just until everything is moist.
  • Spray muffin tin with cooking spray, and fill cups with batter.
  • Bake muffins for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after you stick it in a muffin.
  • Allow muffins to cool and enjoy!
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