Monday Muffins: Apricot White Chocolate bliss

It was a glorious weekend. Sunshine, 70s and my first 5k of the season. Between my stomach flu last week and my son coming down with a wicked virus that infected both ears, my training almost came to a halt, but I managed to complete it with a little asthma at 35 minutes. I’m sure I can do better this season, but I just felt euphoric to be out running.

I may have been wearing a headband that says “I will run for WINE.” But that would be kind of tacky. I was definitely wearing a running skort that I got at the amazing WE RUN store, in North Liberty, Iowa.


I also got my garden in. Mesclun, Arugula and bib lettuce are on their way. I’m waiting on the tomatoes and other seedlings in my kitchen until I’m sure Iowa is not playing a trick on me. There was a major hailstorm north of here this morning, after all!

Someday I will have a beautiful green house. I can’t wait.Image

Today’s muffins are brought to you by “Great Gluten-free Baking” by Louise Blair. Except I doctored them. Quite a bit, and mostly due to missing key ingredients. Sometimes I’m amazed that I was awarded a PhD because I can’t seem to retain information very well. I skimmed two recipes this morning, one for blueberry muffins and one for apricot/white chocolate. I ruled out the white chocolate as the innocent-looking hound mix I was dog-sitting this weekend while my friend ran the Eugene Marathon decided to sabotage my pantry cupboard. He had a smorgasbord of xanathan gum, marshmallows, millet flour and had started in on a bag of white chocolate chips when I found him.

Fortunately it all ended well for Pete (dog) and Katie (Marathon Woman, completed in under 5 hours!).

But, since I had an errand to run this morning, I picked up some white chocolate. Somehow I forgot the rest of the recipe, which called for an orange, and got it slightly mixed up with the blueberry recipe I’d looked at earlier. I decided it would be okay to use a lemon, but added honey to the juice/apricot mixture in the recipe below. I also added some spices as the recipe looked a little bland to me and I wanted to make it a little more daring.

Sometimes I feel a little guilty about not following directions. These are trained, experienced bakers writing these recipes. But if I just copied them, what would I have to blog about? I’ve never been good at following directions, anyway.

So here is the recipe, with my transformations in parentheses:

White chocolate and apricot muffins, inspired by “Great Gluten-Free Baking,” Louise Blair, London: Hamlyn, 2007.

Makes: 15 muffins

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • grated rind and juice 1/2 lemon (instead of entire orange)
  • 2 T water and 2 T honey (instead of juice from orange
  • 2 cups brown rice flour (instead of 2 1/4)
  • 1/4 tapioca flour (I added to smooth out texture instead of last 1/4 flour)
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar (yes, I KNOW I said I never use sugar, but I didn’t want to completely mess up this lovely recipe)
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg (my addition)
  • 1/4 t. ginger ( my addition)
  • 3 oz. gluten-free white chocolate, chopped. I may or may not have added more. 🙂
  • 6 T. melted butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (instead of 1 1/4 buttermilk)
  • 1/4 cup milk (with the yogurt, instead of buttermilk)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two large 12-hole muffin pans wtih 15 liners (this recipe made 24 normal muffins). Place the apricots and the orange rind (citron/honey here) and juice in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 mins gently then set aside.
  2.  Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add the sugar and chocolate and stir. Mix together the wet ingredients and the soaked apricots, and fold them roughly into the dry mixture.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the liners and place in preheated oven for 20 mins, until risen and golden. Remove the muffins from the oven and place on a wire rack.

The result? Very nice texture and I love the nutmeg/ginger addition. On one dozen I added a little piece of candied ginger in the middle for flair and I sprinkled white sugar on top of all of them.

These are bordering on cupcakes…but they still have that muffin spring to them!

Happy spring, everyone!


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