The term “Stay-at-home-parent” is very much a misnomer. In the nine months that I have been doing this, I’ve found that the key to “staying home” with three small children is to spend as little time at home as possible. Get them out of the house and into activities that keep them moving and using up their energy, so that when you are actually at home, they are likely to be asleep. And if the stars align and all three of them are asleep (or at least resting and quiet) at the same time, you might actually get a little bit of time to yourself.
All of this suburban parenting social commentary really has nothing to do with the recipe at hand. It is, however, the reason I never manage to blog more than a few times a week. With the warm weather here, I’ve been getting the kids outside as much as possible. This last week alone we went for a hike, to the park, two different splash pools, the library, the local Y, Target, grocery shopping and the beach. Needless to say, I did not find too many of those stars-are-aligned moments to myself.
I did find a little time for baking, although I still have a number of recipes in my head that are waiting to be made. This one was inspired by a low carb recipe from another blog for Lemon Ricotta Muffins. I honestly couldn’t tell you how it evolved in my brain from the original recipe to what I came up with. I had ricotta on hand and I originally planned to do the recipe almost as it was, with a few minor substitutions. But somehow Maple Pecan entered my head and I couldn’t shake it. It simply demanded to be made. I am sure the original is lovely and I do plan to give it a try some day, but for now, all I have for you are maple pecan muffins.
The Results: Maple extract is potent stuff, and my house has been smelling deliciously of maple since I made these. They turned out a bit on the dry side, so next time I would up the amount of butter to 8 tablespoons. I am still figuring out the right proportions when working with carbalose and gluten flour, so I might play with that a bit too. I think the glaze is really good and makes the muffins more interesting and definitely brings out the maple flavour. I think with a few minor adjustments, I would happily make these again.
Maple Pecan Muffins with Maple Glaze
1 cup carbalose flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup gluten flour (vital wheat gluten)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk ricotta
3/4 cup almond milk
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp maple extract
16-20 drops stevia extract (or liquid sugar substitute equivalent to 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp heavy cream
8-10 drops stevia extract (or liquid sugar substitute equivalent to 1/4 cup)
1 tsp maple extract
For the muffins, preheat oven to 375F and grease 12 muffin tins or line with paper liners.
Whisk together first five ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together ricotta, eggs, almond milk, butter, maple extract and stevia extract.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until moistened. Stir in pecans gently, making sure not to overmix.
Divide batter among prepared muffin tins. Bake 20-25 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove muffins from pan and cool on wire rack.
For the glaze, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in heavy cream until smooth. Add stevia and maple extracts and beat until combined.
Spread glaze over cooled muffins. Garnish with pecans.
Serves 12. 8g total carbs per muffin, 3.6g of fiber.