It’s starting to feel like Doc and I live in the woods with Goldilocks and the 3 bears but in this story it’s Doc, the three snakes, and me. About 3 weeks ago “Papa” snake shed his skin on our back deck. He was about 3 feet long. Then 2 weeks later “Momma and Baby” snakes came and shed their skins at the same location. I have no idea what kind of snakes they are but am a little bit worried because a copperhead was killed in our yard last year! So much for living in the woods!
These muffins are a great way to sneak some healthy fruit and veggies into your children’s diet. They are full of carrots and apples but your children will never know it! They will just think they are eating yummy muffins that are bursting with orange flavor!
Carrot Cake Muffins
Makes 24 muffins plus a small 6 X 3 inch loaf pan
1/2 cup dried cranberries (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained)
4 cups flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup orange marmalade
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots (in food processor)
1 cup finely grated granny smith apples (in food processor)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Spray paper liners with non-stick spray then coat a 6 X 3 inch loaf pan with non- stick spray. Soak dried cranberries in hot water then drain. While dried cranberries are soaking, measure flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Stir together with a fork to combine. Add brown sugar and stir again with a fork to break up any lumps. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until the shortening is the size of peas. Set aside. In a medium-mixing bowl add orange marmalade, orange juice, vanilla and eggs. Stir with a whisk to combine.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process cut up carrots. Process carrots until they are finely chopped. Measure 1 cup shredded carrots and add to orange juice mixture. Repeat and process apple slices. Measure 1 cup shredded apples and add to orange juice mixture. Add flour mixture to orange juice mixture using a vary large serving spoon. Using large strokes, stir batter 15 times. About a fourth of the flour mixture will not be completely wet. Don’t worry. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the prepared paper muffin liners until they are 3/4 of the way full. Do not overfill or they will overflow and stick to the top of the muffin pan! Use remaining batter in the 6 X 3 inch loaf pan.
For topping: Stir together sugar, cinnamon and salt. Melt butter in the microwave. Pour into the sugar and stir until evenly combined. Sprinkle topping over muffin batter and loaf pan batter. Bake muffins and small loaf for 18 to 20 minutes or until done. The loaf may take a little bit longer.
Published in The News and Neighbor on September 10, 2014.