Friday, January 25, 2008

Carrot Muffins

I was showing off my latest recipe find amongst my Allakhazam coworkers today and got poked for not having it on my blog. So here it is!

I was really getting tired of my usual healthy snack recipes, and wanted something different. At the same time I've been looking forever for something like a breakfast cookie that wasn't full of corn syrup or sugar. Somewhere I my mind carrots got stuck, and then Kiddo somehow decided he wanted carrot muffins.

Go go Google, the first recipe I hit looks tasty, and I'm very pleased with it. The original recipe is here, but I've modified it.

They use a very fine grate for their carrots, which is why their picture looks different than mine; I also don't peel the carrots and apple. I've lowered the sugar and oil, and added some fruit. It's the toasted nuts that really make this muffin fantastic, though. I had pecans left from making fruitcake, and they really make this muffin.

Carrot Muffins

Makes 18 standard-sized muffins.

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 cups grated raw carrot (about 2-3 peeled carrots)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Splenda Measure (the kind that measures just like sugar)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened coconut
3 large eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Place fluted paper liners in 18 muffin cups.

Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely. Peel and finely grate the carrots and apple and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk or sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Stir in the nuts and coconut.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Fold the wet ingredients, along with the grated carrot and apple, into the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Do not over-mix!

Evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes remove the muffins from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. If you want to frost them, let them cool completely.

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