Maine weather tends to be—ahem—temperamental, but for the past two days, it’s been a real whiplash. On Saturday, the temperature soared to 50°F. In Maine in February that, my friends, is akin to a heatwave.
For the first time in a long while, there were puddles in the driveway, and patches of tar peeked through the ice. (The stripes across the driveway are tree shadows.)
Dreaming of spring, Little Miss Watson stared out the window.
However, despite the warmer weather, none of us—including Little Miss Watson—were tempted to go outside where the dirty snow was piled high and the sides of the road were mucky. Instead, we stayed in and cooked.
Now, the food we make would never be considered restaurant quality or bakery ready. Often, our creations look a little wonky, off center even. Simply put, we are home cooks.
Our pizza wasn’t exactly round.
And our Valentine’s peanut butter cups? Well, judge for yourselves.
But both the pizza and the peanut butter hearts tasted better than their rough looks might otherwise indicate. What we lack in finesse we usually make up for in taste.
The chocolate muffins, on the other hand, had a pleasing muffiny shape. These muffins are egg free and dairy free, but judging from the flavor, you’d never know it. I’ve developed the recipe on my own, and for those who feel daring, I have included it at the end of this post.
Along with food, throw in board games as well as movies and that was our weekend.
And this morning—Monday—when I got up, the temperature had dropped from its high of 50° to a brisk 10°. In two days’ time, the temperature had dropped 40°.
Time to make some more muffins, I think.
Cocoa Muffins, Egg Free and Dairy Free
- Three tablespoons water mixed with 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
- 1 cup almond milk (oat milk or soy milk would work fine, too.)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar plus a little more for sprinkling on top
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips or chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat over to 400°F.
- Grease or spray muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, mix the 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk powder with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it set a minute or two until it jells.
- Into the jelled psyllium husk powder whisk in the 1 cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
- Stir in 1/2 cup sugar.
- Sift together the 2 cups flour, 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, 3 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix into the sugar/psyllium mixture just until flour is moistened. Note: The batter will be very thick. The muffins come out fine this way, but a tablespoon or two of additional milk can be added for a thinner, batter, which also makes good muffins.
- Fold in peanut butter chips or chocolate chips, if using.
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle sugar on top.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out with a few sticky crumbs.
Makes 6 large muffins or 12 medium muffins.