By Dianne Bunis

Here's a recipe for perfect muffins that are oozing with deep chocolatey taste, but are not too sweet, and are baked to please anyone looking for a healthier alternative to the hydrogenated-oil laden muffins sold in the grocery.

Chocolate-pistachio muffins

Yields 12

* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or substitute 1 3/4 cups Arrowhead Mills gluten-free all purpose baking mix)

* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

* 1/4 cup unsweetend Dutch cocoa (VanCortlandt)

* 1 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1 cup warm water

* 1/4 cup canola oil, non-GMO

* 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* 1 large organic egg, lightly beaten

* 1/2 cup finely chopped organic dark chocolate

* 1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted pistachio nuts, divide.

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup, level with a knife. In a large bowl, combine flour with light brown sugar, Dutch cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

3. Combine water, oil, vinegar, vanilla and egg in a bowl, stirring well with whisk, then stir in chocolate pieces and 1/4 cup pistachio nuts. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, combine until just moist, leave lumpy (over-stirring toughens batter).

4. Line a 12-muffin tin, coat with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop, fill muffin cups evenly with batter. Sprinkle muffin tops with remaining 1/4 cup pistachio nuts.



Bake for 20 minutes, test center for doneness (a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool in pan 5 minutes then remove to a rack so muffins don't get soggy.

6. Store to keep fresh in an airtight container for a day or so. Freeze up to one month, place in a zip-top freezer bag, thaw at room temp or 10-30 sec in microwave.