Weeknight CookingWhat to CookDinner, Faster

I-Woke-Up-Like-This Muffins

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For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.

Today: These muffins are ***Flawless.

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If I woke up like this had a kitchen equivalent, it would be the back-pocket recipe. Back-pocket pasta, back-pocket salad dressing, back-pocket eggy brunch situation -- the term is for anything that comes together from what you already have in your pantry and fridge, making a fail-safe, no-brainer, solid hit every time. Back-pocket cooking is both effortless and a little lucky; it is also totally graceful, and totally too cool for me.

I have a couple simple and consistent winners in my recipe arsenal, but they were not borne of the stylish quick-thinking I imagine back-pocket cooking requires. I would call my collection of trusty mainstays not what’s-up-my-sleeve but rather what's-in-front-of-my-face, the result of a few long minutes of staring into my cupboard, willing the ingredients therein to rearrange themselves into dinner -- or, failing dinner, muffins.

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With just one big orange and the dregs of a jar of coconut oil, you are well on your way to these nuggets of baked goodness. They require no mixer, no kneading, no fridge time for the dough. No waiting for butter to become room temperature, the bane of last-minute bakers everywhere. Just a bowl of wet ingredients, a bowl of dry ingredients, a bright bit of citrus, and a hint of spice. 

Pour the ensuing mixture into the mismatched muffin liners you find at the back of some drawer, and tell your breakfast guests it’s just how you woke up.

Gluten-Free Orange Spice Poppyseed Muffins

Makes just shy of 1 dozen muffins, or a medium loaf, or (!) a smallish bundt (shapes are fun)

1 1/3 cups almond meal/flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) agave nectar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
1/4 cup juice from an orange
2 tablespoons orange zest

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom