3.24.2007

Carrot-Apple-nut muffins

I just came back from the Y&YA Spring retreat at Camp Cedar Falls. One word to describe it: blessed! Although I am very tired from the few hours of sleep, shocked from freezing cold showers and primitive room environment, it reminded me of the comforts that I've been used too- and taken for granted. Sometimes I feel that we do not treasure what we have until we lose it.
Anyways, I'm all ready for my comfy bed and beauty-sleep. (& just took a HOT shower!) I just want to post up the carrot-apple-nut muffin recipe that I made for the drive up to the site and some pictures of the reteat!
carrot-apple muffins spring retreat 1

spring retreat 2
These moist and fruity muffins get raves for being a great breakfast bread to eat on the run. They offer many options for the flavor variations with nuts and dried fruits; play with different combinations to find your personal favorite. Dried cranberries or cherries are an excellent alternative to raisins. Oat or wheat bran and the fruits and carrots add a nice boost of fiber. Because this recipe yields 16 muffins, you will need 2 standard muffin pans. Always fill any empty muffins cups with water to prevent scorching in the oven.
Ingredients:
1 cup (5oz) all purpose (plain) flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup oat bran or wheat bran
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup firmy packed dark brown sugar **
2 large eggs
1 ½ cup plain yogurt or 1 ½ cup buttermilk
½ cup grapedseed oil

1 ¼ cups grated, peeled tart apple
1 ¼ cup cups finely grated, peeled carrots*
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted*
½ cup golden raisins/ chocolate chips(opt)
Topping: 2 T granulated sugar mixed with 1 t ground cinnamon/ 4 oz melted chocolate**
*I made carrot and apple juice that morning and hence, used the pulp for these muffins.

**I used 1/8c instead of 2/3c and compensated the sweetness by topping the muffin with melted chocolate.
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Line muffin pans with paper liners or butter them.
In a large bowl, stir together the lours, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whish the eggs until blended. Stir in the yogurt and oil. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula just until half moistened, 8-10 strokes. Add the apple, carrots, nuts and raisins/chocolate chips and stir until just evenly distributed. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about ¾ full. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes, then turn out onto the rack.

Variation: When muffins have cooled, microwave chocolates for 1-2 minutes and top it on the muffins. (note:I am able to add huge chucks of chocolate on top of the muffin because of the greatly reduced amount of sugar in the muffin. )
Able to store in airtight continer at room temperature for up to 2 days, or frozen up to 1 month.
Reference: Williams-Sonoma , Essentials of Baking

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Disclaimer: All the recipes posted are for my personal references and/or adapted from mentioned instructors or books. They/I reserve the rights to it. Please remember to cite your sources! Thank you.