Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Almond Cupcakes

I am a huge fan of the almond bread that our bakery makes, and I always thought that chocolate chips would be a fantastic addition.  Darcy, our Bakery manager,  baked me a loaf with some in it and my suspicions were confirmed!  I finally asked for the recipe a couple days ago, and instead of just hoarding all the YUM for myself, I decided that a demo with the bread re-imagined as chocolate chip cupcakes would be in order.

I used a hand mixer the first time I made this recipe, but I think in the future I will try it with my stand mixer – with gluten-free baking it is important to get as much air into the batter as possible, and I just feel that would be better attained with a heavy duty mixer.  I think the cupcakes came out great the way I made them initially, so if you don’t have a stand mixer, don’t fret – you’ll still get super yummy cupcakes!  I didn’t frost them because I felt that they could stand on their own, although they would probably be pretty awesome if you topped them with some whipped cream and sour cherry preserves!

This was another demo where people kept coming back for an additional sample, and I could hardly blame them – I did have to “test” a cupcake from each batch after they cooked,  just to make sure the quality was up to mustard!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  I have added a couple suggestions to the bottom, and you can print a PDF of the recipe under the “Recipes” tab on my blog.  Also, if you can eat wheat, you can make these with wheat flour instead of the GF Baking Mix.

GF Chocolate Chip Almond Cupcakes Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Almond Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

1 1/2 c sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1t almond extract

2c Co-op GF Flour Mix (pre-sifted measure)

1/4t baking soda

1/2t baking powder

1/2t sea salt

1c buttermilk

1/3c slivered almonds, plus a little more for the topping

1/3c chocolate chips

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In bowl of stand mixer or large mixing bowl (using hand mixer) cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time, blending in between additions.

4. Add almond extract and mix to blend.

5. Measure and sift flour mix, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt in small mixing bowl.

6. Add a small amount of the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to butter/sugar/eggs and mix well in between additions.

7. (Remove bowl from stand mixer) Stir in almond slivers and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

8. Grease or line 2 muffin tins (you can also cook this in 2 greased small loaf pans) and spoon in batter until about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle top with a pinch of slivered almonds.

9. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes (if making a loaf, bake for approximately 30-40 minutes) until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

10. Let cool on wire rack.

11. Once cool, store in airtight container at room temperature for 4—5 days.

Additions/Substitutions:

Lemon Poppy Seed—add 4t lemon zest and 1t lemon extract in step 4 instead of the almond extract.  Add 1/3c poppy seeds in step 7 instead of the almond slivers and chocolate chips.

Cranberry Walnut—omit almond extract in step 4.  Add 1/3c walnuts and 1/3c dried cranberries instead of almonds and chocolate in step 7.

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