Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Carrot Cream Cheese Muffins

I love me some baking. Now, I am much more cautious before whipping out my mixer and cocoa powder than I was before because I have come to the realization that even though there are only 2 of us living here, a dozen cupcakes can still disappear pretty fast.

But I couldn't take it anymore. I missed the flour on my hands and hitting 350 on my oven. So I compromised and put together a "healthy" baking project. Good thing  I had many carrots in my fridge because I'm weak and had there not been any, I am sure I would have gone straight to the chocolate.

So I measured out my dry ingredients.

Flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and salt! It is important to have both the baking powder and the baking soda - one work on alkaline ingredients and one works on acidic ingredients to give a fluffy, risen cake. Put all of these dry ingredients together in your mixing bowl.

2 large carrots, peeled and grated. Use the smaller grater to avoid chunks of carrot getting stuck in your teeth when you enjoy your muffin. 1 large carrot can be peeled and grated to equal 1 cup of carrot.

Maple syrup  for sweetness and moistness.

Canola oil - for the needed fats and moistness.

2 eggs at room temperature. If you are like me and keep your eggs in the fridge at all times, you can pull them out and place them on your preheating oven as soon as you decide to bake something. If when it comes time to put them in the eggs are still in need of more warming up, you can gently place them in a bowl of lukewarm water to gently warm them up without fear of getting them too warm.

Add your carrots to the mix!

These beautiful muffins are delicious because they have a yummy cream cheese filling that is sweetened with honey. When buying honey, go local! There are a number of studies that go back and forth between having no benefit and a slight benefit to those who eat local honey and have pollen allergies. Local honey contains the pollen spores of the pollen that floats around causing your itchy watery eyes and nose. Eating local honey can work as a type of vaccination. However, there would need to be continuous and prolonged ingestion to have lasting effects. And those who have severe allergies should take extreme caution and always consult your health care provider before trying any natural remedy or rumored treatment.

Line your muffin tins with your paper cups and fill each about halfway. Drop a little dollop of your sweetened cream cheese mix in to the middle and top with a little more batter. I wanted my cream cheese mix to peel through, so I filled about 3/4 full and then put the dollop with a thin topping of the batter. Place in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

Then top the beauties (when cooled) with the remainder of the cream cheese mix.

Enjoy these for breakfast, brunch, or even a snack! Give them to friends, family, or coworkers. Yummy!

Carrot and Cream Cheese Muffin Recipe
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
2 c (2 large) carrots, grated
1 2/3 c maple syrup
2 eggs
1/3 c canola oil

6 oz cream cheese
2 tbs honey

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins.
2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, ginger, salt).
3. Mix the wet ingredients (canola oil, maple syrup, eggs).
4. Combine it all and throw in the carrots. stir well.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese and honey until smooth and soft.
6. Fill muffin tins halfway. Drop in a tablespoon of filling. Cover with more batter.
7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Let cool.
8. Frost with extra filling however your heart desires.


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