Sunday, March 27, 2011

Carrot Cake Muffins

Upon waking and looking out my window this morning, I made the decision to have an easy morning, OK, mid-day...sip on hot tea, eat leftover groats for breakfast and create my second post detailing all my antique/thrift store finds this past week.

My first blog post was written a little less than a week ago, in the middle of the night during a snow storm. The predicted 3" turned out to be 12" (aka "foot") of heavy spring snow. It has diminished to a third of that, but the weather today is foggy and its trying to snow again. We have a 30-60% chance of snow in the forecast for coming days this week. I understand that mother earth needs the moisture, but dang it, I'm ready for spring..even the robins have returned! Here are a few pictures of what the day looked like.

turkeys and a few deer hanging out along the creek bank

Rock Creek

While having my tea and spending some time on the Internet, a Facebook message from a friend of mine gently nudged me out of my "ho-hum" spirits. Creativity prevailed and I made a batch of low fat carrot cake muffins using low gluten flour. Feel free to use the flour of your choice. I'm a BIG fan of Wheat Montana's Prairie Gold whole wheat pastry flour. You get the goodness from whole wheat, but the rise and fine texture of a white flour. Inspiration for this recipe came from Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts, a gift from co-workers a few years ago.

makes 12 regular size muffins

1 cup packed finely grated carrots
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
7 oz water (3/4 cup plus 1/8 cup)
1/2 cup dried craisins (or any dried fruit you have on hand)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour (I used spelt & added 2 tbsp for high altitude)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
2 egg whites, room temperature and stiffly beaten

In a saucepan, combine the carrots, brown sugar, water, craisins, pineapple, coconut and vanilla. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for at least an hour. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, baking powder and chopped nuts. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 about 15 minutes before you are ready to mix the batter. Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray or use muffin liner cups.

Stir the cooled carrot mixture into the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Gently fold in egg whites. Using scoop, divide batter evenly amongst muffin cups.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when tested.

Carrot Cake Muffins in a vintage muffin tin

Once they cooled a bit, I packaged them up and delivered to some friends. Tune in again tomorrow when I post about my treasures I found.

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