Muffins can be such a deceiving bakery staple. While touted as a breakfast option often they seem to be just a cupcake without the frosting; a cruel joke if considered a cupcake, a sugar overload if considered a breakfast. Often there is so much sweetness packed into each neatly wrapped treat that they can hardly be considered wholesome even when packed with nuts, grains, or what have you.
When I want a muffin I tend to want a moist lofty one that is really a muffin, not overly sweet, with some nutritional value, especially when paired with a scramble egg or two, something I can feel good about eating, certainly in the wee morning hours. (Yes, I know I am the queen of run on sentences – please tell me you come here for the stories and food and not my grammar.)
There are so many varieties of the ideal, Fire Island Bakery in Anchorage has this amazing blueberry wholegrain muffin worth it’s weight. If you are ever in Anchorage in search of a good muffin – that’d be my first choice. In rural Alaska where baked good choices are slim or in your own kitchen this time of year, may I suggest giving this recipe a chance. The holidays scream for baked goodies with what can only be termed as the spices of the season cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. and this meets that requirement as well as being pretty darn good for you too boot. 1 cup of sugar to 3 dozen muffins but still sweet enough to satisfy, packed with pumpkin, carrots, apple, pecans, and whole grains my husband touts they meet the “hippy-granola” criteria a breakfast muffin requires in my mind and I’ll just leave this picture here proving their taste award….
Pumpkin, Carrot, & Apple Holiday Spiced Breakfast Muffins (makes 3 dozen)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 apple, shredded (skin optional, I always leave it on – thats where the bulk of the nutrients are)
- 2 carrots, shredded (also peel if it’s you’re prerogative, but I never do!)
- 2 cups cooked pumpkin, pureed smooth
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose white flour
- 2 cups seven grain bread flour (this type of flour adds a crunch and an all grain quality to your muffins, an alternative here would be whole wheat)
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin tins with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat eggs with both sugars on medium low speed until smooth. Briefly blend in shredded apples & carrots, pumpkin, vanilla extract and canola oil until homogenous.
In a medium bowl shift together the dry ingredients then add into bowl of stand mixer. Blend batter until all dry ingredients are well incorporated and no dry pockets remain, be sure to scrape the sides and bottom with a rubber spatula to ensure even mixing.
Fill muffin cups equally, filling each liner approximately 3/4 full. Bake a dozen at a time for 17-19 minutes until muffin tops have rose, set and a baking wire inserted comes out clean. Immediately remove muffins from muffin tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Allowing muffins to cool before serving will ensure the muffin comes away clean from paper wrapper but seriously what’s a little stuck muffin when you can have one butter meltingly warm.
This recipe idea stemmed from the Stony Ridge Restaurant Cookbook’s Power Muffins recipe – a muffin more like a cupcake but a great jumping off point to brainstorm. This recipe is so diverse from the original I can hardly term it adapted but wanted to cite my beginnings none the less – enjoy!