Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Morning Glory Muffins

I chose Morning Glory Muffins, from King Arthur Flour Whole Grains Baking to be the first recipe that The Jam Girlz would make for our Bake-a-Long. I chose it because it was made with whole grains, and looked interesting and easy.

On Sunday morning, I decided that it would be a great time to make the muffins. I had a wedding to go to in Connecticut, and figured that they would make a great on-the-go breakfast for the two-hour ride down there.

The first modification I made to the recipe was to make them in a mini loaf pan instead of in a muffin tin. I'll be honest--I didn't like the sound to having to grease the paper muffin liners, and my muffin tin has sort of seen its day (to the point where I don't really want food in direct contact with the baking surface). Also, it seemed fitting to use the mini loaf pan on the way to Chach and JoJo's wedding, considering that Chach and JoJo had given us the muffin pan as a wedding gift just eight months before.

The muffins came together fairly easily. The hardest part was realizing that the bowl to my food processor was in the waiting line to be washed, and therefore wasn't immediately available to me. After that, it was smooth sailing.

The loaves took a little longer to bake than the muffins would have--about ten minutes extra. This wasn't necessarily the best thing, since I was on a tight schedule to get to the wedding in time. As a result, Kurt and I ended up taking still-steaming morning glory bread on the road with us.

They turned out wonderful. The raisins were plump and moist, due to their soak. The carrots, apple, and coconut made for colorful confetti throughout the inside, and the sunflower seeds offered an interesting crunch. I must say, they were also filling, and sustained us through the wedding ceremony--I was surprised to realize that I wasn't even hungry when lunch was served.

As for the wedding itself, it was held in the couple's backyard under perfectly sunny skies. The temperature remained a steady not-too-hot, not-too-cold 73, and everyone had a great time. Chach and JoJo certainly know how to throw a great party. I hope all their days are as fun-filled, action-packed, and fair-weathered as their wedding day was.

Morning Glory Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grains Baking

1/2 cup raisins
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled and grated carrots
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
3 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with papers and coat the papers with nonstick spray.

Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover them with hot water; set aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, and sunflower seeds. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, orange juice, and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly moistened. Drain the raisins and stir them in.

Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared pan (the muffin cups will be almost full to the top; that's OK). Bake the muffins until nicely domed and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Makes 12 muffins, or 4 mini loaves.

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