Twenty-four hour grocery stores may be in plentiful in the United States but here in Belgium they are non-existent. For that matter, stores that stay open later than six or seven in the evening are few and far between. And it it is a Saturday evening, you are plain out of luck. That was the situation I found myself in one Saturday night on the eve of an early morning road trip. In order to get up and out of the house at an early hour, I planned on baking a batch of muffins the night before so all we would need to do is grab and go in the morning. It was a fine plan until I found myself without and fresh or frozen fruit for my muffins. Rummaging through the refrigerator I came across two apples and a bag of baby carrots. Putting on my thinking cap I thought of carrot cake and with this inspiration I was good to go.
These muffins are moist, dense and are definitely reminiscent of carrot cake. I am not a fan of raisins but if you like them, add up to 1/2 a cup when you stir in the pecans. And like I said, I used baby carrots. If you have regular sized ones, use them since they are so much easier to grate! But whatever type of carrot you use, you will be sure to enjoy these breakfast treats. Enjoy them fresh and warm out of the oven or pop them in the microwave for a few seconds the next morning to refresh them. Enjoy!
APPLE SPICE CARROT MUFFINS
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and lightly cooled
1 1/4 cups tart apple, peeled and grated
1 1/4 cups finely grated carrots
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12 cup muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Stir in the buttermilk and butter.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until half moistened, about 8 to 10 strokes.
- Add the apple, carrots, and nuts and stir just until evenly distributed. Do not over mix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about three-fourths full.
- Combine the granular sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the tops.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 2 minutes, then turn the muffins out onto the rack.