Monday, March 30, 2015

Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze #MuffinMonday

These delicious muffins have all the flavor of tender carrot cake but are made with the two-bowl method traditional for muffins and are topped with generous lashing of sweetened cream cheese. 

A great Easter breakfast or brunch idea
With Easter Sunday less than a week away, you might be looking for a great breakfast or brunch recipe so I thought I’d share my muffin take on carrot cake since carrot muffins are perfect for the occasion. These little guys could also serve as dessert, although they are less sweet than actual carrot cake - a plus for those who have been eating their fair share of Easter candy.

How to make your family happy first thing in the morning
The night before I want to serve muffins for breakfast, I like to mix all my wet ingredients together, cover the bowl with cling film and pop it in the refrigerator. Then I mix all of my dry ingredients in a bigger bowl, cover with cling film and leave at the ready near the oven. When I get up in the morning, I turn the oven on to preheat and prepare my muffin pan. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix and bake. The glaze can be made ahead of time as well and refrigerated. This prep ahead method particularly handy on holidays or even on busy school mornings when everyone is trying to get out of the house on time. After all, muffins are fabulously portable.

Or mix and bake them right away. If you've been craving carrot cake, that might be the best plan.

For the muffins:
8 oz or 225g carrots – weight before peeling and cutting off stem ends
2 cups or 250g flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup or 115g butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup or 160ml milk

For the cream cheese glaze:
1/4 cup or 65g cream cheese spread, at room temperature
1/4 cup or about 30g powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons milk

Peel your carrots and cut them into short lengths. Discard the green stem ends if any. Boil until tender then drain. Mash with a potato masher until fairly smooth.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350°f or 180°C and prepare a 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or lining it with paper muffin cups.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, melted butter, cooled mashed carrots and milk.  Mix thoroughly.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just mixed.

Divide the thick batter between the muffin cups in your prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the glaze, mix the cream cheese spread with the powdered sugar, vanilla and one teaspoon of milk. Stir well. Add the second teaspoon of milk if necessary to get a good drizzling or piping consistency, depending on how you want to apply it. Make it thinner for drizzling, thicker for piping.

When your muffins are cool, drizzle or pipe on the cream cheese glaze. I used a plastic bag with the corner cut off.


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