Monday, December 16, 2013

Carrot Cake Muffins

I've been thinking about this idea for carrot muffins for the past few weeks. For one thing, I needed more recipes for an article I'm working on and for another, I was craving something like a carrot cake without the rich frosting.  

I searched online for inspiration, but recipes listed milk, yogurt or sour cream, and I wanted dairy-free. I ended up borrowing ideas here and there and I'd made muffins before so I knew the flour and baking soda measurements.  Most recipes listed 1 1/2 to 2 cups grated carrots, and how different could carrots be from zucchini in muffins.

At any rate, this recipe is a first run.  I'll make it again and refine the measurements, but first time around I generally only make one big switch which is to substitute for eggs.  I used white unbleached flour because local flours have different moisture levels and sometimes baked goods tend to spread out with local whole-wheat pastry flour.  If you want to use local whole wheat pastry flour, keep in mind baked treats often require more of the local pastry flours and in my experience, they tend to rise more slowly for some reason. 

This is where measuring by weight is probably more important.  I know serious bakers especially gluten-free bakers say we should all weigh flour. But how many home cooks call themselves "serious bakers?" If you don't weigh your flour, remember don't compress the flour in the measuring cup and add more.  Fill gently and when the cup is full, gently level it off with a knife. Do not compress it. In any case, I leave weighing flour up to you. 

Here are some of the ingredients you may find locally in the Northwest:

My favorite egg replacer in recipes is a flax seed egg replacer.  I love this for muffins, breads and pancakes.  To replace one egg: use 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds and 3 tablespoons water.  Beat until frothy.  Make exactly as the recipe directs, simply add the egg replacer for eggs.

 Maybe I'll try that next time I make these.  Also, you don't have to use papers, you can oil the muffin tins, but it's more fun to peel the paper.

Muffins are best served warm or eaten the day they were made.  If you want to keep them, freeze them in a plastic bag.

Carrot Muffins
(Makes 12 muffins)
Unlike other muffin doughs, the dough for this muffin is quite thick because carrots give up moisture as they cook.  If you want to use whole wheat pastry flour, add a little more flour to the mix.

2 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar 
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
11/2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup raisins or currants
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
1 1/2 cup grated carrots

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Line muffin tins with papers.  

2. Combine flax seeds and water with an immersion (hand) blender until the mixture is thick and frothy. Set aside.  Blend sugar, brown sugar, molasses and canola oil.  Combine this with the flax seed mixture, blending well.

3. Mix flour, soda, powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice together, making sure no small lumps remain.  Mix in raisins, pecans.  Then blend the wet and dry ingredients together.  Gently blend in the carrots making sure not to over stir the mixture as this can make muffins tough.

4. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. 

5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on rack. 

My Cooking Assistant is not happy about the empty muffin tins.
He quickly took advantage when these were placed in front of him for a photo op.

Oh no, which muffin was it?  No one will ever know. . . .

1 comment:

Miz Helen said...

I sure am glad that Finn left me some of those awesome Carrot Cake Muffins. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a very Merry Christmas!
Miz Helen