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morning glorious muffins

Getting out of a deliciously warm bed and stepping onto a cold bare floor with the windows revealing nothing of the day but drear and dark –

not to whine – but it’s hard on us humans. Do you like to think we deserve something special for our heroic efforts? On a rainy morning when the only reason we rise is because we must, these, and a mug of steaming hot something, make it one fraction easier to leave our warm comfy beds.

This recipe reads a bit like a carrot cake. Like the cake, and unlike many muffins, it’s chock full of good things our mothers would approve of.  It’s deliciously moist, surprisingly light and un-dense.  It keeps very well, and  it re-heats nicely (if you’re looking around for something to melt your butter on.) But let’s do better for breakfast than carrot cake. We won’t frost them; instead we’ll top with a liberal scattering of healthy walnuts. We’ll only use whole-wheat flour, and we’ll do one better by adding extra wheat-germ. We’ll grate 2 whole cups of  carrots, newly-pulled from the good earth, and add a grated tart apple, a handful of shredded coconut, some warming spices and some strewn bits of candied ginger. And after a few warm bites, we can raise what’s left and call it a glorious morning, because what we call it matters maybe even more than how we start it.

morning glorious muffins

(makes 12 muffins)

  • ½ cup raisins —  (or substitute chopped dried apricots, or dried cranberries, if you’re not a raisin fan)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour — (either the traditional or white whole wheat – same nutritional content)
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled and grated carrots
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts – divided — (or substitute pecans, or sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened wheat germ
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease your muffin tin or line with papers and coat with a non-stick spray.

(Excuse me while I digress. I have this muffin “tin” that’s not a tin, but made of silicone instead and I love it. Here’s why: Muffins release easily from it without the addition of oil.  They cook beautifully in it – as brown as you like. Washing is easy – you can simply turn the cups inside out and give a little scrub. When not in use, roll it up and stuff it into cramped places. I’ll include a picture of it at the bottom of the post. All that being said, obviously, any muffin pan will do! )

Put the raisins (or the dried fruit of your choice) into a small bowl and cover with hot water to plump. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt together, until thoroughly combined. Stir in the shredded carrots and apple, the coconut, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, finely chopped candied ginger and wheat germ.

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and stir until evenly blended. Drain the raisins well, and add them now.

Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups – they’ll be nearly full, but they won’t overflow. They’ll just dome up beautifully. Scatter with approximately ¼ cup chopped walnuts (or your choice of nut or sunflower seeds.) Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a tooth pick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan, on a rack, for 5 minutes only. Then remove the muffins to the rack to continue cooling.

~ ~ ~

(Or of course, you may eat them steamy warm, and I highly recommend you do.)

~ ~ ~

My silicone pan is actually one made for brioche but I use it for muffins because I love the shape. Here ’tis:

You can easily find them on line. Mine was made by Demarle, maker of the non-stick silpat, but many other brands are out there. 

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mama, what beautiful writing. Like melting butter. Like carrots just pulled from the earth. Yum and yum.

    October 20, 2011
  2. They ARE glorious! Moist and light, even cake-like, but not too sweet. They don’t have a hint of that whole wheat, wheat germ, health-conscious sawdust flavor. And the occasional zing of candied ginger is unexpected! I wanted to eat nine.

    October 20, 2011
    • I so agree. No sawdust whatsoever!

      October 21, 2011
  3. deb #

    After reading the description and seeing the muffins, I conclude they are irresistible and must replace my favorite Pumpkin Nut at Bridgeport Cafe. I’m baking them Monday morning AFTER our half marathon walk on Sunday (afraid of a bit too much fiber out on the road!!) Sooo perfect this time of year – thank you!

    October 20, 2011
    • Good luck with the race Deb! A good foot soak and a couple good muffins will be in order!

      October 21, 2011
  4. These look so appetizing I definitely will make an approximation of them this very evening. I think you believe as I do that every recipe is meant to inspire rather than to be slavishly followed down to the last quarter teaspoon so I’m sure you won’t be offended if I make a few changes to accommodate the ingredients I have on hand as well as my aversion to sugar. BTW, speaking of useful cooking utensils, I just purchased a ceramic wok from Amazon–completely magical non-stick with none of those nasty chemicals, just a white ceramic coating–and it works unbelievably well so far.

    October 20, 2011
    • Oh yes! The whole purpose here to inspire. Glad I could! Checking out your ceramic-coated wok now.

      October 21, 2011
  5. Spreesgratefulguineapig #

    From time to time I am conscripted into the envious service as spree’s taste tester.
    On a recent crisp fall morning the fat phone rang and I sprang into action. In the lab Spree, looking sparkling as ever in her pristine labcoat and flowered apron presented me with her latest concoction, the morning glorious muffin. This was a real winner. The muffin was plump and springy and aromatic. The nut topping added a pleasant crunch to go along with the moist nature of the muffin. Along with a Hair Bender (Stumptown Coffee) skinny latte, perfectly foamed, this effort rated 4.7 out of five on the portly rodent scale. Go for it!

    October 22, 2011
  6. I wrote the recipe down and I can’t wait to try it
    I love how rich it is in good ingredients

    April 8, 2012

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