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RECIPE: Pistachio-Chocolate Muffins For St. Patrick’s Day

Pistachio Muffins
[1] The chocolate remains hidden until you dig into the muffin (photo courtesy Agnese Italian Recipes.

Pistachio Flour
[2] You can buy pistachio flour or grind your own from pistachio nuts. See the technique below (photo courtesy Gourmet Food World).

Green Foil Muffin Liners
[3] For more festiveness, look for green foil muffin/cupcake liners (photo courtesy Fox Run).


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.

  • The difference between a muffin and a cupcake is largely the level of sweetness and the denseness of the crumb.
  • Some muffins are savory, made without any sugar; for example, cheddar-jalapeño muffins.
    This recipe was adapted from an Italian recipe blog, Agnese Italian Recipes. Here’s Agnese’s original recipe.

    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

  • 5/8 cup flour (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons, or 8.8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (full fat)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 squares of Baker’s Semisweet Chocolate, or 12 ounces chocolate of choice*
  • 7 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio flour (grind your own†)
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch baking soda
  • Optional: green food coloring

    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.


    What You Need

  • Shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts
  • Food processor or spice grinder
  • Sieve or sifter

    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).


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