I always enjoy the build up to Christmas time like as if I was still a little girl. I absolutely love Christmas shopping despite the overcrowded shopping centres and the large queues at the tills, I never miss a visit to the festive medieval street market in Winchester, near my town, and of course every year around three weeks before Christmas, putting up the tree.
This year however, we don’t have a Christmas tree, as when we moved, I decided to get rid of it with the intention of buying a new one - a real one that will be as tall as the ceiling ! But now we are in the house and approaching our first Christmas , I’m somehow more concern about things like finding the perfect lamp for the dining room, or that rug to match with the cushions on the sofa, or getting S to hang up all the pictures ! This last one seems to be the toughest out of all of them.
Nevertheless, last Saturday evening, when we returned from another failed attempt to find our perfect kitchen table, we came home to find our neighbours made a pact to decorate their houses. They had all covered their homes with hundreds, no thousands of coloured lights dangling from the roofs, with fake snow on the trees and reindeers in the front gardens. Some of them appeared to be almost real which I thought was quite scary, up until I saw they had also put up a ten-foot tall inflatable Santa Claus on the chimney.
The truth is I felt a bit jealous of the neighbours Christmas spirit, so I thought what better way to get me in the mood and to fuel my non-exiting spirit, would be carrying out the Christmas tradition my mum and I always make, which consist of course with baking goodies.
So at 9 pm, after a long rainy day visiting countless furniture shops I checked the pantry, and I started to make a batch of muffins. Then, I decided to spice up my Saturday night by playing some Christmas songs and pouring a big glass of red wine.
I couldn’t tell you if it was the smell of my freshly baked muffins, the second or third glass of wine or Mariah Carey blasting out “All I want for Christmas is you” song, that lead me on to making another three batches of muffins. Well, you never know when it might start to snow here in the south of England (never being the key word here), and we might get stuck inside the house for a week or more.
These muffins are seriously the best choice to kick start the day and are the perfect healthy on-the-go breakfast. The dough is mainly made from almond flour and thanks to the last-minute addition of the baking soda and folded-in whipped egg whites, the muffins have a great volume and a fluffy texture. The crunchy bite come from the star ingredient, a tick layer of sticky gluten free granola and honey.
Sticky granola & honey breakfast muffins (GF)
1/3 cup (65 gr) Trex (Palm shortening) or ghee butter
1 ¾ cups (175 gr) almond flour
¼ cup (30 gr) tapioca or arrowroot flour
¼ teaspoon Himalaya salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup maple syrup or raw honey
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. Baking soda
3 cups of gluten free granola
1 1/2 cup of raw honey
Preheat the oven to 160C / 325f. Grease slightly a 6-holes silicon muffin tin.
In a small saucepan, melt the ghee butter or Trex, then pour in a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, tapioca and salt.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Place the yolks in the bowl with the melted butter, add in the maple syrup, vanilla extract and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
Add the egg yolk mixture to the bowl with the flours and whisk until you get a smooth batter without lumps.
Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs whites until soft peaks. Stir the baking soda into the batter and then, using a spatula, beat in one-third of the whipped egg whites to lighten the batter. Fold gently in the rest of the egg whites.
Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into each hole and bake for about 35 minutes or until a wooden skewer poked into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Meanwhile the muffins are baking, in a bowl combine the granola and honey until the mixture is very sticky. Set aside.
Leave to set for about 5 minutes, then take the muffins out from the tin and place them on a cooling rack.
Using a knife, spread some honey over the top of a muffin and straight after, top with granola mixture until cover all top of the muffin. Use more honey if needed! Repeat this operation for each muffin. Enjoy!
Recipe inspired by My Paleo Patisserie