Monday, February 3, 2014

Carrot Cake Muffins

Are we still on that health kick thing?  You know, the whole "It's a new year and I need to workout and diet like a mofo" thing?  I'm pretty sure that ends once the Superbowl comes around.  I mean, who doesn't love a good queso dip?  I will never say no.

So anyhow, I guess that means we can talk about these carrot cake muffins without any guilt, right?  Cool.  'Cause that's what I'm about to do.  I don't know why I haven't made any form of carrot cake before since I absolutely love it.  Let's be real.  It's all about the cream cheese frosting.  It gets me every time.

I had been looking for a recipe for healthy muffins when I initially crossed paths with these.  Pretty soon,  I was convincing myself that the amount of carrots in each muffin definitely negate the amount of cream cheese filling inside it.  AmIright?  That's carrot-cake-math, in case you're wondering.

Carrot Cake Muffins
from King Arthur Flour
makes 12 muffins*

Print Recipe

For the Muffins:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed (~2 medium-large carrots)

For the Filling:
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia flavor or vanilla extract, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan, OR line the pan with paper muffin cups, coated with cooking spray.

2) Make the filling first by placing the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, then heating on low power for 30-40 seconds.

3) Stir in the sugar and any flavor or extract you may be using.  Set aside for later.

4) Make the muffin batter by whisking together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

5) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil.

6) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

7) Fold in the carrots.
8) Drop 1-2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup.  Make sure the bottoms of the muffin pan or cups are covered.

9) Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the muffin pan or cup.

10) Cover the filling with the rest of the batter.  The batter should reach within 1/4" to 3/8" of the top of the muffin cup.

* The original recipe claims that there will be about 1/3 cup of batter left over after filling the 12 muffin cups.  However, I found that I didn't have any leftover batter when I filled my muffin cups.
 I put some silver sugar on top of some of the muffins.
Why not?

11) Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion of the muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  The tops of the muffins should be firm to the touch.

12) Remove the muffins from the oven and cool for a few minutes.  Once they are cool enough to be handled, transfer the muffins to a wire rack.  If served warm, the filling will be hot and melted.  The filling will firm up more as the muffins cool down.

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