Okay, as promised, here is my extra-long post about the best muffins (or "mummins," in Nick-speak) ever. Even if you're not into recipes, please scroll down to the bottom, where I've included a little video clip of Nick chatting with me about his tasty snack.
I finally got some carrots from my garden a few weeks ago. In fact, I got a nice sized crop for a small garden. Next year I want to plant more. Nick loved the carrots, but he especially liked the long tails they had.
My husband, however, thought that these carrots were lumpy and misshapen. He wasn't too keen on eating them raw. I guess they did look a little silly. You see, where they grow the carrots in California, the soil is sandy and the carrots turn out perfectly shaped. Here in Illinois, our soil is thicker and thus the carrots are lumpier. See what I mean?
Well, crooked or not, we were eating those carrots! So I found a recipe for carrot cream cheese muffins, and I decided to alter it significantly to make it at least a little healthier. I'm sure the original recipe would be delicious, but I wanted muffins with enough fiber to have for breakfast. I'm also pretty sensitive to sugar, so I tried to reduce it without eliminating it entirely. I do some baking with Splenda, but I always leave some sugar in it or the recipe won't brown correctly. I think these muffins are a good balance of nice and naughty.
What I came up with was a delicious miracle. These muffins are quite delectable, and I've lowered the sugar as well as significantly upping the fiber. Nick absolutely loves them, and he calls them "Mummins."
I'm going to share the recipe here, because about four people have asked me for this particular recipe. Trust me, this one is worth the trouble. I even doubled the recipe last week to make another huge batch, and all of the mummins were gone in just three days.
Carrot Mummins with Cream Cheese
In one huge bowl… mix together the dry ingredients…
• 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
• 1 ½ t. baking soda
• 1T. vital wheat gluten
• 1 t. baking powder
• ½ t. salt
• 1 ½ t. cinnamon
• ½ t. nutmeg
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup baking Splenda
In another bowl, mix together:
• 3 eggs
• 1 T. ground flax seed
• 1/3 cup of melted butter (unsalted)
• 2/3 cup applesauce
Then add in:
• 1 ½ cups shredded carrots (I'd suggest a food processor for this.)
• ½ cup walnuts, chopped finely
Now take ½ cup of raisins and soak them in very hot water for about ten minutes. Drain, and add them to the carrot mixture.
For the cream cheese filling, get a completely separate bowl and stir together until smooth:
• 4+ ounces of Neufchatel cream cheese
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 t. vanilla
• ½ cup sugar
Pour the carrot mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir to mix. (Don’t stir too much or the muffins will be tough.)
These “mummins” have a filling, and you can just put the cream cheese mixture (about 1T on top of each muffin if you'd like. I did my mummins half with the filling inside and half with the filling on top. Personally, I like the filling inside better. When the filling is on top, sometimes it bubbles over and you lose a bit of the cream cheese. I don't like to lose even a little bit of that filling. Yum!
If you want the filling inside, you have to follow these steps to make your mummins:
1. Fill each muffin cup about ½ full with the muffin mixture.
2. Add a tablespoon or so of the cream cheese mixture.
3. Put just enough muffin mixture on top of the cream cheese to cover the filling.
Bake the mummins at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. Smaller muffins bake more quickly, and larger ones may take a little longer than 20 minutes.
You’ll know they’re done when you can stick a toothpick into one and it comes out clean. (Stick the toothpick in a non-cream cheesy part.) Enjoy your mummins. I know Nick sure loved his!
Now, here's some video of Nick enjoying his mummin. I rather enjoy these little snippets of toddler conversation. When I got my master's degree (ESL concentration), I had to take a lot of classes about how people learn language. Linguistics taught me about the stages of learning a first language, and it is very fascinating to see Nick go through those stages. He's a chatty little guy. Hungry, too. :)