Hazelnut Muffins

Remember how much I love Kim Boyce? Last weekend I fell in love, all over again, with Good to the Grain . It was prompted by an article I read about Kim’s new Portland bakery, Bakeshop. Lamenting the fact that I couldn’t go visit the bakery right then, I pulled Good to the Grain off of the shelf. As usual, I wanted to make everything in the book.

I decided to try the apple and graham coffee cake, but realized I was out of graham flour. Quelle Horreur! I wrote to Kim for help (the perks of being a food writer?). She offered some good suggestions, but I stopped myself before trying any of them. I could tell that she wanted me to make the cake with graham flour. And with good reason! The recipes in her book are so perfectly formulated that you want to make each one exactly as intended to see what Kim had in mind.

I decided to make the hazelnut muffins.

I was not surprised that they are awesome. Add them to the long list of recipes that I love from Good to the Grain. Eaten warm from the oven, spread with a little raspberry jam, they made me a very happy man. Like many recipes made with whole grains, these really are best on the day you make them. The baked goods get a little heavy as they sit. Not to say that I didn’t happily eat a muffin the next day, I did. But if you are making these to share, make them with friends and gobble them up while they are still warm. You’ll be really happy you did.

A good tip, from Kim, on muffin baking: If you use only every other muffin cup, you’ll get nicer domes on the muffins. Gives them a little space and allows heat to circulate better. It really works! Although, it means you need two muffin tins. Worth it!

Hazelnut Muffins (from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce)

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, skins on, chopped into rough halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, skins on, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dry Mix:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup teff flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Wet Mix:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease muffin tins (1/3-cup capacity) with butter.

Place the butter, hazelnuts, and salt in a small pan and cook over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the edges of the nuts to turn golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat before the nuts get too brown, you don’t want them to burn. Pour the nuts and melted butter  into a bowl to cool down.

In a small bowl, stir together the finely chopped hazelnuts, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back  into the bowl any flour or other ingredients that remain in the sifter.

In a medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Pour the hazelnut butter over the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk mixture on top of that. Using a spatula, mix together the wet and dry ingredients.

Scoop the batter into 10 muffin cups, using a spoon or an ice cream scoop. The batter should be mounded above the edges of the cups. Sprinkle the hazelnut topping evenly over the batter, gently press it into the batter so that it adheres.

Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The muffins are ready to come out when they smell nutty, the hazelnuts are toasted, and the bottoms are golden in color (twist one out of the pan to check). Remove the pan from the oven, twist each muffin out, and place it on its side in the cup to cool. This keeps the muffins nice and crunchy.

Serve warm from the oven.


33 comments to “Hazelnut Muffins”

  1. You’ve convinced me. I’m checking out her book from the library! These muffins look wonderful. Thanks!

  2. Love Kim! Too funny that you posted this, b/c I’m on a hazelnut kick right now. I just made a chocolate-hazelnut-almond semifreddo for a dinner party. Such an awesome nut!

  3. Like the tip about spacing out the muffins, makes perfect sense. These look amazing!!

  4. Have you tried her figgy buckwheat scones? (101 cookbooks has the recipe online) Hurray! Bakeshop is in Portland. Hurray! Extracto (my local coffee shop) carries FBS.

    I thought I hated figs but that was because of fig newtons.

  5. Love the look of those muffin tops! And a useful idea about spreading out the muffins in the pan which I am trying next time I bake.

  6. Bakeshop is down the street from our house and we consider ourselves lucky. It’s now far easier to face the dim Pacific NW winter mornings knowing there’s a chocolate orange scone and whole wheat chocolate chip cookie within reach.

  7. What a great idea about spacing the muffins out! Never thought of that. Can’t wait to try these!

  8. I love what Kim Boyce has done for home baking. I love that she uses whole grain flours to bring depth and complexity to baked goods and not just to make them better for you. The first time I made the huckle buckle (with blueberries) as soon as the last crumb was fought over my boys begged me to make it again. Twice. I made it three times in two weeks. They are 4 and 6 and not health nuts. The chocolate chip cookies are equally fantastic – the whole wheat flour gives them a nutty edge without being heavy. Am looking forward to trying these muffins for breakfast tomorrow.

  9. Delish. Have you ever made her spelt olive oil, rosemary, dark chocolate cake? I keep meaning to try it! I’m ready to re-fall in love with her book too.

  10. It cracks me up, Tim, that though you were out of graham flour, you just happened to have a little teff in the house. You are a true GTTG devotee if you actually buy the flours and have them at the ready. I keep reading the book, and rye and spelt flours are as far as I’ve gone. I’m always afraid that I won’t get to use them while they are still fresh… my nose knows the scent of rancid flour, one of my big dislikes.

    Kari, the spelt cake is awesome. I swapped chamomile flowers for the rosemary and added chopped dried apricots, and it was a fantastic flavored and textured cake!

    I’m heading to Portland for the day on Saturday and will now make the time to stop at Bakeshop.

  11. I adore Kim as well. I would go so as saying she has changed the way I bake forever.

  12. tim, out of curiosity, what other recipes have you tried? I have the book and am quite delighted with it. my only trouble is trying to settle on one at a time…I just used the maple oat waffle recipe to make taiyaki last weekend. yum.

    @pam, I hate the rancid flours thing too, so I just keep all of my flours in the fridge. it’s worked wonderfully. bonus: cold flour feels nice to work with.

  13. Hi Emily- I have made: the oatmeal cookies, coconut cookies, strawberry barley scones, graham Nuts, rhubarb tarts, cornmeal blueberry cookies, and the buttermilk pancakes. Maybe more? Seriously! (I had written a review of the book for ReadyMade and so I tested a few of the recipes then). I like every single recipe.

    Yeah, keeping the grains fresh and in stock is a challenge. The fridge or freezer extend their life, but I never have room in my fridge.

  14. Oh god this looks incredible!

  15. I adore the picture of your uprooted muffins- as if you plucked them from a little baking garden with their nutritious roots exposed, lying awaiting harvesting…and with teff and whole wheat flour, they practically are! Hearty and happy food. Love.

  16. These look delicious and I really want to make them right away. Is there another flour that one could use instead of Teff? I already have so many different flours in my cupboard that they barely all fit and I am not sure I’ve seen teff at whole foods. Thanks!

  17. Hi Cristina! I am going to take a stance that you shouldn’t substitute grains in Kim Boyce recipes. That being said, feel free to experiment and let us know if you find a good substitute.

  18. Amazingly, I happen to have all the ingredients on hand. These sound, and look, delicious!

  19. I have, and love, this book, but I’ve not tried this recipe. Now I am compelled! Thanks for sharing it with your thoughts, Tim. Do you have a favorite recipe or two from the list of things you’ve baked, mentioned above? I think I am most fond of the rhubarb tarts and olive oil cake with chocolate and rosemary–thus far!

  20. Hi Stacy- I love the buttermilk pancakes. They are perfect and I make them all of the time. I also really enjoyed the oatmeal cookies, which are especially good in the first 24 hours. The scones are nice, too. Those are probably my favorites….

  21. Tim,
    Can I just say, I absolutely love your entire blog. I’m 17 and am enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute for October of 2012 and I can’t wait. Trying out your recipes has been educational, but most importantly, delicious! And every time you post something new, my mouth waters…so keep blogging! We obviously are all big fans! :)

  22. Good to the grain is one of my favourite books ever. I usually buy an unusual grain, then open the relevant chapter and start cooking. I have learned the hard way that substitutions don’t work here: Kim’s lovely oat molasses sandwich bread turned out repulsive. I often have to make some, because I live in the UK and some things just don’t taste the same even if they have the same label. The bread was a casualty of molasses substitution I believe…

  23. What a great tip on the muffin tops! Usually I try to minimize those, but with baking, I find the bigger the better :) These look soo much better than any coffee-shop muffin you can find and I’m adding these to my must-bake list…right now.

  24. Thanks, Tim! I’ll have to try those three soon. Scones are a favorite of mine, and my boyfriend adores pancakes, so I have plenty of reasons to give your selections a go!

  25. Tim, you’ll get a kick out of this… My sweetie and I just missed Bakeshop by 5 minutes on Saturday. Got there in time to peer through the window at the floors being mopped. But, we made up for it later by enjoying dinner at Tim Boyce’s (Kim’s hubby) spot, Bluehour, where he is the new exec chef. The place is so lovely, and the food has never been better. You’d love it.

    All is well that ends well. Bakeshop will wait until our next jaunt up the freeway.

  26. Pam, so close! Next time. I hope to get there soon and try Bluehour and Bakeshop.

  27. These are my favorite muffins from that book. They were so surprising! Usually I can imagine what a muffin will look like, based on the recipe, but with these, I couldn’t get a picture in my mind. Then I baked them, and I loved them!

  28. hi Tim, how pretty muffins that you made! i love your food posting and a sense of humor in writing.

    i am also a big fan of Kim boyce, and love her fabulous fig butter…
    when you posted this recipe, i happened to try another her recipe — molasses bran muffins w/ prune jam. it’s heavenly tasted. have you ever tried it? she’s absolutely right. This is far from the un-sexy but only health-conscious bran muffins.

    love it soooooo much… i already finished my second muffin this morning. oops!

  29. TIM! I just discovered Lottie & Doof this week and am completely, 100% obsessed. You are incredibly talented in the kitchen, and also an amazing photographer. I’ve been pinning the heck out of your creations and can’t wait to try some of your recipes! Thanks for sharing – can’t wait to follow you!

  30. Those look so delicious! I need to get out my apron and try them out!

  31. Whitney- I am so glad you found me! You’re so nice! Thanks for all of the encouraging words.

  32. I’ve been eyeing these muffins since you posted the recipe and finally made them yesterday. I followed the recipe exactly but baked in a loaf pan instead of making muffins – turned out great. Sunk a bit in the middle, but I live in Denver so sometimes the altitude’s a challenge.

    I look to your website all the time for recipes – thanks for all the inspiration!

  33. Stephanie says:

    July 12th, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Tim!! It’s me again, the happy but late comer haha! These muffins look absolutely wonderful and I so want to make them! In the hope of getting the tops you did, I’m going to try the every-other muffin cup method you mentioned. But what do you do with the empty muffin cups? Did you bake with them empty? Did you fill them with h2o (I heard that somewhere). Many thanks!!

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