February 26th is National Pistachio Day: a perfect day to bake something with pistachio nuts.
We love the concept of pistachio “surprise” muffins: The surprise is the melted chocolate center.
A lesser surprise is that they’re sweet enough to be served as dessert; in which case you can call them cupcakes and serve them with ice cream or whipped cream.
Jumping from Italy to Ireland:
St. Patrick’s Day is in less than three weeks: Another occasion to make these tasty green muffins.
Use green food coloring to make the batter as green as you like.
Ingredients 12 Muffins
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Prepare the muffin tins: Line the wells with paper or foil liners.
2. WHISK together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, egg, oil and milk. Add the dry mixture into the wet, and blend with a wooden spoon.
3. ADD the coffee and the pistachio flour, and the optional food color. Divide the mixture into 2 bowls.
4. ADD a heaping spoonful of the batter into each muffin cup. Next, place a square of chocolate in the center of the cup, and top with another spoonful of batter. The muffin cups should be 2/3 full.
5. BAKE for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
MAKE PISTACHIO FLOUR FROM PISTACHIO NUTS
What You Need
1. PLACE the nuts in the food processor and pulse until they are a flour-like consistency. Don’t over-pulse or they will turn into pistachio butter.
2. ADD the ground nuts to a sieve and sift them into a bowl. Re-pulse pieces that are too large to fit through the sieve and repeat as necessary.
You can store the flour for one month in the fridge or several months in the freezer. Don’t keep it at room temperature: The oil in the nuts can become rancid.
*Each Baker’s Chocolate package has 8 one-ounce squares. You can also use squares from 3.5-ounce chocolate bars, which are better-tasting chocolate. You’ll need 3-1/2 large chocolate bars.
†Pistachio flour is expensive. Since you need only a small amount, it may make sense to grind your own from whole pistachios (or pieces).