Good Morning Muffins!

I’ve been busy. Incredibly busy, actually. Lots of good things have been happening for me lately and though I enjoy and appreciate them, I’ve found that I don’t have as much time for some things that I love and enjoy. I haven’t been posting as many blog entries. (I think I’m seriously going to have to write these in on the calendar once a week– I’m not kidding!) In addition to ignoring the blog, I also haven’t done much baking at all this year– to be honest I wasn’t much in the mood for it at the beginning of the year and I never bake much over the summer. With fall on it’s way and cooler temperatures during the day, I’ve found my way back to my kitchen. While we were in New Mexico I was flipping through an issue of Taste of Home. I’d never seen the magazine before and I was instantly sucked in to all of the fantastic recipes printed on its pages. My mother-in-law saw how much I enjoyed the magazine and promised a subscription for Christmas, and proceeded to bring in her entire stack from the last two years! I copied down a few recipes which took not much time at all thanks to the recipe program on my laptop and my super-fast typing skills.

One of the recipes I copied is called Morning Muffins and is from the February/March 2008 issue. I decided to make some changes to the recipe to suit our tastes (and what was in the cupboard!) when I baked them a few weeks ago. Yes, you read that right– I’m just now getting the chance to pull the images off of my memory card.

Below is the original recipe– all of the ingredients I used were organic (of course!) and my substitutions are in parenthesis.

Morning Muffins from Taste of Home
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
8 ounces sour cream (I used light)
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup flaked coconut (I used unsweetened coconut that’s steamed to remove some of the fat.)
1/2 cup raisins (I substituted chopped dried apricots)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used organic unbleached)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I chose pecans)

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and sour cream; beat well. Stir in the carrots, coconut and raisins. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in nuts.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. (I used mini muffin tins, which makes 3 dozen mini muffins per every dozen the recipe calls for. They baked for 10 minutes.)

I made a double batch, which in hindsight was a bad idea. This batter is thick (!) and I had a really hard time getting everything to combine. I had to use a giant mixing bowl and had a hard time getting all the way down to the bottom to combine in the last of the flour. Now, I have problems with arthritis but I can honestly say that those issues aside, my wrist still would have been stiff after mixing the double batch. If you’re going to make more than a dozen of these, please learn from my mistake and start over for the second batch. Through my cursing and teeth gritting, I eventually got these mixed, into mini muffin cups, and into the oven. It took me ALL afternoon to bake these off– six dozen mini muffins is a lot of muffins! But, I wanted to send some in with M for his coworkers and not only are there a lot of them, but they are hungry folks!

All in all, the muffins were a huge success! M’s coworkers passed on an invitation for me to send in baked goods any time I pleased. Will do!

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