When I was just learning how to bake, I usually list down or bookmark recipes I wanted to try out. I've always wanted to make carrot muffins, but the cookies and brownies took precedence on my list than this healthier treat. I finally decided to make these darlings once and for all. I feel like every time I open my Willimas-Sonoma Bread book, these muffins always seemed to be staring at me, begging to be baked. ;o) So off I go to the supermarket to buy me some carrots. Unfortunately, the supermarkets here don't sell pre-shredded carrots so I had to shred them myself. But I'd say that it's the only hard part in this recipe. This could be prepared in less that twenty minutes and you don't even have to take out your electric mixer. I like the dome shape it produced. For me, it was a sign of a perfectly-baked muffin. :) The secret, I've discovered, is to not fill up the muffin cups with the batter all the way to the top; about 2/3 would do. This would allow enough room for the batter to rise and not spill over the rim when being baked, hence, you'll get a dome-shaped muffin. Now experienced bakers probably already knew this, but I've only had my fair share of muffin-baking, so this lesson was gold for me. :) This recipe called for either raisins or dries cranberries. Cranberries would've been to-die-for, but I made use of what's available: raisins. Though I'd probably substitute walnuts next time. My family isn't that crazy for raisins, they actually complained that I used too much! But for me, it was perfect... not too sweet, not too dense... just my kind of breakfast. ;o)
melted butter for greasing
4 large eggs
3/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c all purpose flour
1 3/4 c sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp poppy seeds (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 c shredded carrots (about 3-4 medium sized ones)
3/4 c dried cranberries or raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil and vanilla. Beat vigorously with wire whisk. In another bowl, stir flour, sugar, cinnamon, poppy seeds (if using), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture with the egg mixture and beat just until smooth. Fold in the carrots and the cranberries/raisins. Spoon the batter into muffin cups about 2/3 full.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until springy to the touch. Cool and then transfer onto wire rack.
Photo note: I was having a hard time taking out the muffins from the tin, so I just tapped the tin upside down. Some muffins went down straight, head first, to the wire rack. That explains the indention on top of the muffin. ;o)