Zoe Nathan likes doing good. And the co-owner of the Rustic Canyon family of restaurants, author of the cookbook “Huckleberry” and mom of three does a lot of good baking. Her latest adventure, Gather For Good, began with a series of bake sales featuring Nathan and her celebrity baker pals.
At Bake & Gather events, the public is invited to mingle and purchase sweet treats to benefit causes such as the ACLU, ProPublica, Community Healing Gardens and Planned Parenthood.
“I want to get people out of their homes and away from their televisions and together,” Nathan says, adding that her goal is an “anti-political political movement.” She also wants to inspire people to host their own fundraising activities, and offers tools (and a list of upcoming Bake & Gather events) at www.andgatherforgood.com.
She also offers this tasty recipe, perfect for families to bake together. “I bake a lot, a lot, a lot with my kids,” says Nathan of 6-year-old Milo, 3-year-old Tallula and 18-month-old Felix. And it’s just like when kids learn to feed themselves. “It’s going to be really messy at first and imperfect, and you’re going to get food all over the place,” she says, “but let them do it and they’ll learn.”
You can mix these with a hand mixer if you don’t have a standing mixer (careful not to overmix!), and Nathan recommends Fat Uncle Farms almond flour, available at the Hollywood and Santa Monica farmers markets. “It’ll make your pastries a lot softer,” she says.
You can mix your batter and fill the muffin cups at night, wrap in plastic, refrigerate and bake in the morning.
Chocolate Chunk Muffins from Huckleberry
Makes 12 muffins
¾ cup/170 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons/165 grams sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ cups/160 grams all-purpose flour
¼ cup/25 grams almond flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup plain whole yogurt
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups/210 grams chopped dark chocolate, 60 to 70 percent cacao
Position a rack toward the top of your oven and preheat to 350°F. Line one 12-cup muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed until nice and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well with each addition. Pause mixing. Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, vanilla and chocolate. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated.
Fill the muffin cups with batter all the way to the top, even a little over. Sprinkle the tops with a little sugar.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are brown and just spring back to the touch. Do not overbake!
These keep perfectly, tightly wrapped at room temperature, for up to three days.