the moveable feasts

Kim Boyce’s Hazelnut Muffins

with 19 comments

kim boyce's hazelnut muffins

I tend to go through phases with things. Oftentimes, these phases are decided by the seasons. I’m not talking about seasonal phases like I only get strawberries in the peak of July or grapefruits in January, as much as I wish that were true. No, I’m referring to general-outlook-on-the-world-and-everything-around-me seasonal phases. My “winter” phase has kicked in late this year, but it’s the same as always: I get a bit anti-social, a little intense, and I get really into abstract things like ideas/music/art/books,  etc. I’m not sure how I got in the mindset that the farther away I stay from real humans, the closer I can get to “real” humanity…but no matter! I do not question these phases, silly though they may be, because I honestly really enjoy them.

In the phase I’m in right now, the only things I’ve felt like doing are a.) go for really long walks while listening to music (this song + 90’s seattle grunge + the velvet underground), b.) go to my classes (not kidding), or c.) cook and/or bake. Nice combination of activities, eh? But they all seem to go together, and they all have a kind of serene pensiveness to them.

I made these muffins sometime last week after spending the day walking in the cold with the clear sun (and finding two bags of raw hazelnuts in my freezer). I wasn’t planning to blog about them, but I think they turned out too good not to share. They’re from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, though I originally saw them in an Elle à Table my brother got me around Christmastime (where, curiously, they refer to Kim Boyce’s book as Les Deuze FarinesLanguage-y things are always so peculiar). I of course could barely a read a thing the recipe was asking for, so I followed the recipe on Lottie and Doof instead. I think you’ll forgive me—the muffins would have hardly turned out so nicely.

kim boyce's hazelnut muffins

In Kim Boyce’s classic style, she uses a combination of whole-grain flours in order to add a bit of nutrition and some very cool flavors without compromising any of the texture or taste. In these hazelnut muffins, she uses all-purpose, whole-wheat, and teff flours. If I were to be completely honest with you, which I’m afraid I must be, I substituted the teff flour for oat flour. I know, I know! But I was at the store and the only teff flour available was in a large $15 bag and I just couldn’t do it! I will say, though, that the muffins were awesome the way I made them, and I can only imagine what they’d be like if I had used teff flour, as Boyce originally calls for.

Anyway, I was compelled to share these with you, in case you hadn’t made them or seen them before on another site, because they are pretty impressive. I really, really liked the hazelnuts in these—Boyce adds roughly chopped ones in the batter but also calls for them sprinkled in with cinnamon-nutmeg sugar to top the muffins with (my absolute favorite part of these muffins). Plus! You don’t have to toast and peel the nuts, which I find very clever and convenient seeing as peeling hazelnuts always sounds much cooler and easier than it actually is. And the crumb, made with butter but also a fair amount of yogurt and buttermilk, is tender, moist, but with structure. They’re a classic muffin to have, in my opinion.

fluffy, perfect muffin

You can find the recipe here (I didn’t make any changes besides the aforementioned shameful flour substitution). Make sure you follow Kim’s tip, mentioned by Tim in his post, of spacing out the batter into every other cup so that there’s plenty room between them.  It really does make a difference in how high the domes rise.

One Year Ago: Crunchy, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies  with Coconut and Nuts

Written by Amy

February 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Posted in Breads

Tagged with ,

19 Responses

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  1. I go through such phases too!
    These muffins sound wonderful. If teff flour is that expensive where you are, I bet it’s even more expensive in New Zealand – glad to hear it works with substitutions.


    February 5, 2013 at 12:56 am

    • Yeah, it was in a small little health food store that had bulk of every other flour besides teff (of course), and I think the individual packaging of large quantities was what made it so pricey.


      February 5, 2013 at 8:25 am

  2. Hm, I’m not sure that my behaviour/interests change with the seasons. But, hey, maybe you’re just more self-aware than I am. Anyway, at least in the midwest, it seems natural to be less social and to bake more during the winter. It’s just too cold to be wandering around outside very much!

    These muffins look great. I love it when I find ingredients stashed away that I’d forgotten about. I also found some hazelnuts recently, but only enough for that cauliflower salad from Jerusalem. I don’t blame you about the teff flour. As much as I love KB’s book, those esoteric whole grains are expensive, and most just end up languishing in my fridge.

    I was thinking about making the sweet potato-date muffins again, but maybe I’ll make these.


    February 5, 2013 at 7:17 am

    • With the hazelnuts that I had leftover from these muffins, I made that cauliflower salad too. It’s a shame because I was trying to use up ingredients but now I just want to go out and get more hazelnuts! That’s how it always seems to work, though.

      And are the sweet potato-date muffins from Kim Boyce? Those sound pretty good…


      February 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

      • Yeah, the sweet potato-date muffins are in the whole wheat section, so you don’t even need to substitute or buy anything you wouldn’t otherwise bake with. They’re really good and pretty convenient to throw together if you happen to have some roasted sweet potatoes on hand. Of course, I’m never that organized.


        February 5, 2013 at 8:59 am

  3. Beautiful! I love the flavor of hazlenuts. These would be so good with a hot cup of coffee!

    Little Kitchie

    February 5, 2013 at 8:47 am

  4. These muffins are gorgeous, and I’m a huge believer in oat flour in muffins, etc. Don’t know about the Teff flour, but at that price, it might have to wait! I’m making raspberry streusel muffins today, and these are great inspiration!

    • I actually thought of you when I made the oat flour substituion–I love how you always have use it in your baked goods or breakfast things, and they always turn out so nicely. I’m excited to see the raspberry streusel muffins on your blog!


      February 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

  5. These look really, seriously lovely. I find muffins can be a bit boring sometimes but topped with this wonderful crunchy crumble and packed with hazlenuts? Heaven. Gorgeous photos too!


    February 5, 2013 at 9:24 am

    • Thank you! And yes, I often feel the same way about muffins. These wouldn’t disappoint you though, I’m sure of it.


      February 5, 2013 at 11:29 am

  6. Three cheers for not having to peel the hazelnuts! I cannot lie, I avoid recipes that call for such madness. These really do sound lovely, and I can completely relate to your full-fledged desire to bake the day away. Half the time I have grand plans to bake in the evening, but by the time I get home from work, walk my pup, and get something half-nutritious into my body, I’m ready for bed! (or ready to act like a sloth on the couch with a good book or TV show)

    • Oh sloth days definitely make appearances in my schedule (always unexpectedly). All about balance, right? ;)


      February 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

  7. Yum! THanks for sharing:)


    February 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

  8. I had such a crush on this book last year. I haven’t been baking much lately, but this is great inspiration to pull it off the shelf again!


    February 5, 2013 at 9:48 pm

  9. I’m a phase person too. My winter phase involves lots of breakfast foods and jazz music for some reason.
    These muffins look yummy!


    February 6, 2013 at 5:13 am

  10. I’m sure your professors love your new phase. ;)

    These muffins do look like the perfect crumb. I’m glad you shared!


    February 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm

  11. why has dad (and others) talked about being intense and obsessive my whole like it’s a bad thing? loved this post/writing.


    February 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

  12. I think I avoided all of Kim’s teff recipes because I’ve never been able to find the flour anywhere, but you bring up a good point that substitutions can be delicious as well. That’s a good thing! Because I’ve been dying to rebake this kamut pound cake that Luisa posted on her blog once (you probably know which recipe I’m talking about—I HIGHLy recommend!), but since I haven’t come across kamut since moving to New York, I’ve refrained from making it.

    I do happen to have some oat flour sitting on a cupboard shelf, forlorn and untouched since I first bought it months ago. If it’s still good, I think I’ll give these muffins a try. They look so unbelievably moist!


    February 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    • Haha I do remember when Luisa first posted about that kamut pound cake. I remember wanting to make it back then, but I don’t think I’ve thought about it since. I’ll be on the scout for kamut flour now to make it! And yes, give these a try if that oat flour is still alright! Let me know how they go for you.


      February 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm

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