I've been getting the bug to bake lately. It's not hard to understand where the bug is coming from. It gets dark so early it's hard not to feel like a prisoner being kept from the sun. I guess to keep from letting myself get too frustrated with the arrival of the winter and the dark, I've been trying to compensate with other things that make my senses happy. In this case, that thing was cinnamon-y, sweet smelling carrot cake-like muffins. The thought of having something home made, fast, and warm is a little extra motivation for me to leave my cozy covers in the morning as well.
I got this recipe from the Joy of Baking website. It's awesome.
1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 cups (270 grams) grated raw carrot (about 2-3 peeled carrots)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3.5 grams) salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (180 ml) safflower or canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Place 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. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Stir in the nuts and coconut. Set aside.
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. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared 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 before frosting.
Makes 18 standard-sized muffins.