Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Brandishing the Carrots

Yesterday, on our way to buy a new refrigerator (one of ours died two weeks ago, and the other likes to fluctuate between 38 and 50 if you don't shut the door tight enough), we went to Hackney's. I'm not a burger person (so I have no idea why I was excited to go, wait, yes I do. It is the onion rings. I'm totally on a fried food kick. Today I had falafel...But I digress. So at Hackney's, after the onion rings, I actually had to have a meal. And it came with what appeared to be a carrot bran muffin. I was motivated to use the carrots in the fridge (though this is not the right time of year for them. They're sweeter in the winter.)
I've been wanting to make a more flavorful bran muffin, and here it is. At first I couldn't decide on whether there should be raisins, but the consensus seems to be that they should be there.

Carrot-Walnut Bran Muffins
makes 16 muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup wheat bran
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cup finely grated carrot (about 3-4 carrots)
2/3 cup walnuts
2/3 cup raisins
2 large eggs
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 1/12 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons nut, canola, or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, or until toasted. Once cool, coarsely chop or break up. Leave oven on.
In a medium bowl, pour hot water over raisins. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Drain.

Grease or line 16 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in shredded carrot.
In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, brown sugar, and honey for about two minutes or until thick and paler. Whisk in buttermilk, applesauce, oil, and vanilla.
Stir liquid mixture into carrot-flour mixture until just moist. Fold in walnuts and raisins; divide among prepared tins.
Bake 15 minutes or until spring back when lightly touched on top.

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