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.

Triple Chocolate Cookies (GF and Wheat Flour Recipes)

Anyone will tell you that I am a big fan of baking. If there is chocolate involved, you can count me in! I realized that I have been neglecting this passionate side of my cooking persona regarding the recipes I “test” for customers, so I decided that some delicious cookies would be in order for my last sampling demo in January.

I found a recipe years ago for Triple Chocolate Cookies that I think are fantastic, and since I knew they would be easily adapted for those of us that are gluten-free, I went for it. I don’t recall where this recipe came from – it is handwritten in my recipe notebook – so I either found it online (and didn’t have any ink in my printer so I copied it down) or it was from a magazine that I felt I couldn’t tear it out of.

At any rate, I have never had a moister, chocolaty-er cookie than this! Customers thought they tasted both like fudge and brownies, and were surprised at how soft they were. I made the gluten-free variety for my demo so everyone could partake in the yummy goodness, and too many people to count were amazed that they were in fact gluten-free. I had to swat some hands for taking too many samples (well, not really – but you know you’ve got a good thing when people can’t stop eating them, and they don’t call me the “Sassy Sampler” for nothing!).

If you are a new (or hesitant) baker, then here are a few tips:

  • For GF cooks – I made them with a couple different GF flour mixes in my conversion experiment (Bob’s and our own), and found that the Swan Bakery’s bulk GF Flour mix makes the cookies taste identical to the wheat flour version.
  • Make sure your eggs are room temperature (leave them out for at least a half hour before you start melting the chocolate). This is a good rule when you are baking and need to cream eggs – I don’t know the science behind it, but it does make for creamier, fluffier eggs!
  • The chocolate mixture should still be pretty warm when you add it to the egg mixture – don’t let it cool all the way or the recipe won’t work correctly.
  • If you have a convection oven (lucky you!!!), then you don’t need to worry about reversing the position of the half-baked cookies in the oven – this step is for those of us who need to assure even baking in a regular oven.
  • My “heaping Tablespoons” are in fact HEAPING Tablespoons, which is why I only make 24 cookies.If you make them smaller (and therefore more), then you may not need to bake them as long – take a peek about 8 minutes into your cooking time. When they are done, they should be shiny and a little poofy, with little cracks in the top (they will deflate some as they cool).

ENJOY!

photo triple chocolate cookies

Gluten-free Triple Chocolate Cookies © 2010 Sassy Sampler

GLUTEN-FREE (OR WHEAT) TRIPLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 c dark chocolate chips
  • 7 T unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 c co-op gluten-free flour mix (or unbleached wheat flour)
  • 1/4 t xanthan gum
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 1/2 c chocolate chips, and butter in double boiler until glossy.  (You can also improvise with a medium heat-proof glass bowl set on a saucepan.)  Let cool, stirring occasionally.  Fight the urge to eat the chocolate before you add it to your recipe.
  2. Mix flour, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder in a small bowl.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar with mixer (hand held or stand mixer) on medium speed in a large bowl for about 4 minutes until creamy and pale in color.  Add vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Add  chocolate mixture and mix for 1 minute on low until fully combined.
  5. (Remove bowl from mixer.) Fold in your flour mixture.
  6. Fold in 1 1/2 c chocolate chips.
  7. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Put oven racks in upper middle and upper lower positions.
  8. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop dough in heaping Tablespoons on sheets, about 1” apart.
  9. Bake, reversing position of the baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until edges of cookies have just begun to set but centers are still very soft, about 10 –11 minutes.  Cookies will be shiny, with cracks on top, and will not look fully cooked.
  10. Cool cookies on sheets about 30 minutes, slide parchment with cookies on to wire racks, and cool to room temperature.  Store in airtight container.

You can add 2 t of instant coffee powder at the end of step three if desired.  You can also substitute 1/2 c of almond flour for the GF flour.  You can also add 3/4 c dark chocolate chips and 3/4 c white chocolate chips for more chocolate variety!

Gluten-free Triple Chocolate Cookies PDF

2/18/10 – I think this recipe may have come from Cook’s Country magazine originally, although I think it has only been in publication for a couple years and I have been making these cookies for longer than that…one day I will solve this mystery!