What's Baking: Gluten-Free Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

I'm doing a little experiment by going gluten-free for 30 days. Mainly I'm just interested in seeing if removing wheat from my diet makes me feel any different. One week in, and I haven't noticed any changes (not that I expected to). Of course, I did manage to "cheat" on Saturday by taking a few sips of D's Glenfiddich. Whoopsies. (And, whether coincidental or not, I did feel a little extra bloaty that evening. TMI?) My major triumph thus far has been bringing a loaf of sourdough bread into our home without taking a bite.

As I'm sure you are aware if you're a long-time reader of this blog, I love me some carbs. Like, a whole lot. So far I haven't run into too many obstacles or cravings, though I am sure I will need to find a gluten-free pizza crust recipe to try sooner rather than later, since that is one of our weekly dinnertime staples.

The one thing I do miss (one week in) is my weekly celebration of Muffin Tuesday, in which I head to Golden Harvest on Tuesday mornings to pick up some groceries and a "healthy" morning glory muffin. Those wheat-filled muffins are now off-limits, meaning if I still want a muffin, I'm going to have to bake my own. I made these muffins to share with a friend on Sunday, and I have to say they turned out rather well. Though not quite meal-replacing, these cinnamon-rich muffins do make for a good mid-morning snack, and pair nicely with a cup of coffee or hot tea.

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Swirl Muffins (printer-friendly version)
makes about 9 muffins

For the muffin batter:
2 eggs
1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the cinnamon swirl:
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 315 degrees. Line a muffin tin with nine paper liners and set aside.
2. Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, syrup, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, salt, and baking soda and stir to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, melted butter, cinnamon, and vanilla extract until smooth.
4. Use a small (1-2 tablespoon) scoop to place batter into the lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 1/3 full. Gently tap the sides of the pan to evenly coat the bottom of each muffin cup liner with the batter. Then add a small spoonful (about 1 teaspoon) of the cinnamon swirl mixture on top of the batter. Finally, place another scoopful of batter on top of the cinnamon swirl layer. Each muffin cup should be about 2/3-3/4 full. Next, use a toothpick to gently swirl the two layers together, spreading the cinnamon swirl throughout the batter. Lastly, use a fork to drizzle stripes of the remaining cinnamon swirl mixture over top each muffin. Clean any excess drizzle from the top of the muffin pan. If any muffin cups are empty, fill each empty cup halfway with water to ensure even baking.
5. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
6. Let cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before removing. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store any extra muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.

(adapted from this recipe from The Nourishing Home)