Is it just me, or do these papers remind you of candy corn?
I mentioned in my last post that I'm happy to be a DBCB (designated birthday cake baker). Of course, I bake lots of things besides cake, so I bring other things to work as well. I do want to be respectful of people's nutritional goals, so I try not to bring really decadent stuff too often--not that I get many complaints. =) So I'll bake things with fruit, or whole wheat flour snuck in, as a way to offset some of the recipes made with lots of chocolate and butter. Breakfast items are always popular--they get eaten at any time of day. So I figured these Tuesdays with Dorie Carrot Spice Muffins would be well-received. This pick was actually supposed to be for last week. I'm hoping my friend Nancy will forgive me for being late to the party. =) (And my apologies to Gaye for not making this week's Tropical Crumble.)
On the healthy side of the equation we have carrots, and the fact that these muffins are made with oil rather than butter. I didn't mess with the flour this time, but I'd like to try these with half white whole wheat flour. I don't think anyone would even notice, with all the flavor from the cinnamon (I used Vietnamese) and ginger. The original recipe also called for nuts and dried fruit, both healthy in moderation. (No chance that these would be made with coconut in this house.) I left those out--since I knew Brianna and Gillian would complain--but I'd be fine with some raisins or pecans, so I'll have to try that at some point.
Since I was omitting the fun mix-ins, I figured I needed to come up with something to replace them. I went browsing on the King Arthur Flour site, and found this recipe for Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins. I'll have to make the muffins at some point, but for now, I just borrowed the filling. I actually reduced it a bit--I mixed together 150 grams of neufchatel (2/3 of an 8-ounce package), 35 grams of sugar (about 3 tablespoons) and a couple drops of Fiori di Sicilia (I'd just use a bit of vanilla extract if you don't have that). I put some batter in the bottom of each muffin cup, added a small scoop of filling, and topped it with more batter, so the cups were almost full. I baked my muffins for 20 minutes at 375ºF.
The verdict? Sometimes it's hard for me to predict what the reaction is going to be at work. Interestingly enough, it's often the non-chocolate goodies that get the best reception, and that was certainly the case with these muffins. They were a huge hit! I think we're all ready for fall flavors, and the cinnamon and ginger in these definitely made me think of autumn. It might be time to find some pumpkin recipes, too. =)
For the original muffin recipe, head over to Nancy's blog. To see what everyone else made this week and last, check out the Links for the muffins and crumble.