Sunday, January 5, 2014

Carrot Spice Muffins - aka Morning Glory Muffins

I received a juicer for Christmas!  I mean to tell you, having a juicer makes me so excited, I can hardly stand it.  I have been making up all sorts of concoctions and basking in my healthy mornings.  Seriously, I have been doing the happy dance all over the kitchen!!  Thank you, thank you, Mr. Clever Mom!  I LOVE it!  A by-product of having a juicer is lots of pulp.  The other morning I made just plain carrot juice (which was my impetus for wanting a juicer so badly - I have been buying carrot juice constantly!!) so I had a bunch of carrot pulp left over.  Surely, there is something I can do with this pulp, I thought.  So, I made carrot muffins!!  And they turned out DELICIOUS!

Now, if you don't have a juicer thus no carrot pulp in your house, do not fret.  This recipe actually calls for shredded carrot.  I merely substituted the carrot pulp and hoped for the best, and it worked!  The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's Baking - From My Home to Yours, which I HIGHLY recommend if you enjoy baking at all, or are interested in learning more about baking.  Every recipe I have tried in this book is a winner!

Anyway, here is this one:

Carrot Spice Muffins
adapted from Baking - From My Home to Yours
makes 12 regular-sized muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 TB baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola, safflower or corn
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded carrots (or lightly packed carrot pulp)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (recipe suggests sweetened, I used unsweetened and it was great)
1/3 cup moist, plum currants or raisins (golden or regular)
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F.  Grease the 12 molds in a regular-sized muffin tin, or use paper liners.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Add the brown sugar and whisk, ensuring there are no sugar lumps.

Whisk together the oil,eggs, milk and vanilla in a large glass measuring cup or in another smaller bowl.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk together until mostly blended.  Don't worry if it isn't totally together - with muffins it is better to err on the side of LESS-mixed instead of OVER-mixed.  Gently stir in the carrots, coconut, raisins and nuts.  Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin from the pan and allowing to cool completely.  
Printable Recipe

Yum.  These are so good!  They are nice and moist in the middle, with a bit of a crunch on top.  They are just sweet enough for me, so I think the use of unsweetened coconut is perfect, if you can find it.

What a great use of my carrot pulp!  I wonder what I can do with the other random pulp I create....  Any ideas??

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