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Deep Dark Chocolate Muffins

Photos memorialize our lives. Each snapshot is meant to be viewed later to stir memories of what was.

Just like the blog posts, journal entries, letters, and emails we write are memorials to the moments we cherish. The moments we don’t want to forget. Or, the moments we want to remember so we’ll not repeat ourselves.

Yeah, folks, I’m rambling a bit. What does any of this have to do with chocolate muffins? Well, nothing. It has to do with friends and memories and holding on to both.

I lost a dear friend this week and need to carve a little place right here as a memorial. I have an intense desire to hold on to him—just like in Peter Pan when Wendy sews Peter’s shadow back on. I want to sew the shadow of my friend firmly somewhere so he doesn’t disappear. So he doesn’t wander off. So he’s here in my heart forever.

It was an unexpected and shocking loss. I’ve known my friend since grade school and expected to know him into old age. I only share that because when something like this happens you think not only about the loss of your loved one but about the people who are still here. Your husband (or wife), your children, siblings, parents and friends. You desire to make each moment memorable. To make each moment count. To tell them you love them, appreciate them, to be with them.

You know what? These muffins are good but don’t make them. That’s right. (At least not right now.) Go spend some time with family and friends making memories. Tell them you love them. Smile and laugh with them. Do that and you’ll create moments that will last a lifetime. I promise.


Deep Dark Chocolate Muffins

Deep Dark Chocolate Muffins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare your muffin pan with liners—makes about 6 or 7 jumbo or 12 cupcake sized muffins.

Whisk to combine and set aside:

½ teaspoons EnerG Egg Replacer
2 tablespoons warm water

In a large mixing bowl mix together:

1½ cups GF Flour Blend
½ cup pulverized walnuts*
2/3 cups organic coconut or cane sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

In a 2 cup measuring cup whisk together:

1 6oz container plain or vanilla yogurt (for dairy-free/vegan use coconut milk yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon molasses (optional)
½ cup water
egg replacer you prepared earlier
1/3 cup grapeseed or other vegetable oil

Pour about half the wet mixture into the dry and give it a few turns with a spoon or silicone spatula. Add the rest of the liquid and stir until combined.

Add to the batter and mix in:

½ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Spoon into the paper liners filling them about ¾ full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and enjoy.

*I pulverized the walnuts in a small food processor (or you might be able to use a coffee grinder) until they were the size of large grains of sand. Measure after they’re chopped.


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Reader Comments (21)

YUM! Yes, I'm making these today, and yes, I'm using So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt! CAN'T WAIT!!!!

May 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Nancy, I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. You have have honored your friend in a beautiful way. Thank you for reminding us to hold on to the ones we love just a little tighter.

Thanks for sharing this post, Nancy. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Dear friends are family, too. Life can be very short and we must treasure all our loved ones. I'll take the time to do that before I make these muffins, but I'll be excited when I finally make them. They look so good. :-)


May 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

What lovely advice to make memories. I hope you can find some solace in all the great ones you must have of your friend from knowing him for so long. I'm sure there are happy, sad, funny, rude, secret, embarrasing and every other type you can even imagine. I hope you have time to honour him by sitting down with a cup of tea and one of your muffins and just remembering.

May 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterInTolerant Chef

Many of my fondest memories are based around food, baking or just watching as others bake. I could watch my mom in the kitchen for hours on end. A kitchen can so often me the center of a house and family..and sometimes friendships too!
You're muffins look lovely - and the papers are beautiful!
But I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

Aurea - thank you! I am with you...I've got lots of memories of my mom and family cooking together. In fact, one of my favorite days is Christmas Eve because we all get together and cook!

May 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAurea@Survival Guide

I am so excited, I could cry that Tidy Mom sent me to you. I am 33 and have been married for about 7 months, just decided that we are going to adopt our first child and in the midst of all of this, I have had to go gluten free and I am just in a world of confusion when it comes to recipes. I am so excited to start getting to know you because I sure will be here about every day! Than you SO much! I appreciate it more than you know!


Hi, Heather. Welcome. Wow, a lot of stuff going on in your life. Just want you to know there's lots of help in the GF community and we're all happy to help out. Check out the blogroll--lots and lots of great bloggers and they all have good advice and recipes.

May 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Mullin

I am so sorry for your loss. Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking about you and sending good energy your way... On a brighter note, these muffins look outlandishly delectable - what a beautiful way to celebrate your friend's life!

Hi Nancy. All of us here are deeply sorry for your loss. We were very moved by your post, as it is such a loving tribute to your friend, and we know you will always hold him very close in your heart. We will make these muffins sometime soon, in honor of you both. We will share them with loved ones and smile and laugh with them when we do.

Very sorry for your loss. Life is truly a vapor - we need to make the most of it!

May 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

Nancy, this was so poignantly and perfectly written. I could not agree more with everything you wrote. I already took that to heart this week and have been doing exactly what you said! I know I have already told you this, but I am so sorry for your loss. I have been thinking about you all week! Thank you for reminding us all to take the time to take in those special moments. Huge hugs to you!
And, by the way, these muffins look unbelievable! Wow!

Just wanted to thank you all for the warm sentiments and hugs. It means a lot to me. xoxoxo Nancy

May 26, 2011 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

My mouth is watering...these look fabulous! I'm making these tomorrow for Memorial Day this recipe. Thank you for sharing.
Have a great holiday weekend!

May 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Healthy Apple

My name is Kristen and I am a 23 year old student. I have always had food issues but only recently found out what I am intolerant too. Unfortunately there is quite a long list. Among them, cow's milk, egg white and yolk, wheat, rye, pear, apple, potato, nuts and chicken. I am quite overwhelmed at how to go about getting on top of it, and have discovered this page. I'm hoping it will be of some help and it looks like it will be so thanks

Jul 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

I have 3 kids with multiple food allergies which are, Gluten, soy, peanut, dairy, walnut, cabbage, garlic, sesame, coffee, green beans, and kidney beans. I have looked for coconut milk yogurt and can't find it anywhere. The recipe sounds great, but can't think of anything to put in place of the coconut yogurt, any ideas?
thanks Corrina

Corrina - I use So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt which I think is distributed throughout the US. I find the regular grocery stores don't carry it but it is readily available in my local health food stores. I can't think of a substitution that would work for your family. I think I would try to either make it from coconut milk or maybe substitute something kind of fruit puree. I have no idea if these would be effective subs...we are destined to experiment all the time!

Jul 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorrina

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Sep 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterred bottom shoes

Made these this morning for the post thanksgiving crows, some with allergies. I substituted cherry almond yogurt and pecans ( I used my walnuts and vanilla!) and they were amaIng! Thanks so much! Love some grain-free, vegan, recipes if you have them too. That's for me:)

Nov 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

I love your site! i only just recently in the last month found out that I have multiple food allergies, along with Candida (yeast/sugar free needs) and adrenal failure. Your recipes are fabulous; I'm learning so much! Your writing is witting, poignant, and forthright; thank you! You've given me some real appreciation for the raw food approach and for turning a new page in my life of new healthier eating. with warmest regards! janie

Thank you, Janie! -Nancy

Jan 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanie

We just made your muffins, subbed cold, strong coffee for the water. And almond meal for the walnuts-wonderful!

Chris - So happy they worked for you. I often use coffee in my chocolate recipes so great idea on your part! Glad you enjoyed them. -Nancy

Jan 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchris

These are really quite good. Thanks for posting!

Frazzled Mon - you are very welcome. Glad you enjoyed them.

Feb 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrazzled Mom
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