My aunt gave me the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook for Christmas, and I’ve already tried a number of recipes with great success. A trip to their flour store in Norwich, VT was fun! Last week’s farm share included a pound of carrots, and today’s had another pound, so it’s a good thing I have a super duper food chopper blender that made the work easy for this recipe. I did make modifications, so the entire recipe is listed here.
You’ll need: 4 large eggs, ¾ cup vegetable oil and ¾ cup applesauce, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, just under 1 ¼ cups sugar, ½ cup brown sugar (I didn’t pack it as called for in the recipe), 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 ½ tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 T cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg. Mix all of these ingredients, starting with the eggs, adding the oil, adding remaining ingredients. I didn’t combine the dry ingredients together first (before adding them in, as I “should have”).
After these are blended, add 2 ½ cups grated carrots, 1 cup chopped walnuts or any other type of nuts, 1 cup unsweetened coconut, 1 cup crushed pineapple (8 oz. can, drained, or other type of pineapple run through the blender).
This recipe made enough for 12 muffins and a 9 x 13 pan with a thin-to-medium layer. It can be used to make 3 round 8-inch pans. Be sure to grease and flour the pans or use muffin tin liners or parchment paper. I set the timer for 15 minutes, checked them, and set it for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees. The muffins were done after 25 minutes, but the large pan needed 30 minutes. I had used a 1/3 cup measuring cup to put the batter into the muffin papers.
Frosting: I started off by modifying the quantity listed for the sugar, and decided to add more if needed. Here’s what went in: 6 T (3/4 stick) butter, 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese- both at room temperature, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (I didn’t sift as instructed). I did not add more sugar and didn’t use the 2 T milk listed “as needed” to make the frosting more pliable. I used nut pieces to decorate the tops of the frosted muffins, so I did not add chopped nuts to the frosting as suggested.
The first muffin, warm from the oven, was soft and rich. The sweetness was just right for me, after lowering the amount of white and brown sugars called for just slightly, and using unsweetened coconut. These are not the sticky sweet confections from bakeries, so if that’s what you want, be sure to up all the sugar counts. But they were a nice treat for me, knowing that they were more healthy than usual!