Cinnamon Spiced Carrot Ginger Muffins

Watch me make this on my YouTube channel!

Yield: 12 Muffins

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

½ cup whole roasted and salted pecans (you will also need an additional ½ cup finely chopped pecans – see last ingredient below)

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 equal pieces

2 whole large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup (Zante) currants

¼ cup small diced candied ginger

½ cup grated carrots, grated on a Microplane

½ cup whole roasted and salted pecans, finely chopped

Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

Place oats on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Once oven is preheated, bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through, until toasted. Set aside.

Place the sugar and ½ cup of the whole pecans in a food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse 15 times until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pulse 10 times to combine. Evenly distribute the butter. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until it starts to resemble wet sand. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Pulse until the texture turns into a uniform, thick batter, approximately 25 times.

Add the toasted oats, currants, ginger, carrots and finely chopped pecans to a medium bowl. Stir gently to combine.

Transfer batter from food processor to the medium bowl with the ginger carrot mixture using a rubber spatula. Fold to combine with the spatula.

Fill each muffin tin equally with the batter. (It’s just over a ¼ cup per muffin.)

Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Test readiness by poking a toothpick or knife in the middle of a muffin; if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

Remove from oven. Place tin on a cookie rack and let the muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the tin.

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

Banana bread muffins? With pumpkin pie spice? And chocolate hazelnut spread? YES, please!

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut1

I can just see that chocolate hazelnut spread peeking through the cracks…

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut2

Chocolate banana hazelnut deliciousness

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins

 

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/3 cup pitted deglet noor dates, approximately 10 dates

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan

2 whole eggs

3 very ripe large bananas, broken into large chunks, plus 1 large banana, diced small

1½ tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread

 

Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

Place flour, oats, salt, baking soda, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and dates in a food processor. Process until dates are broken down and mixture is fairly even. (There will still be some very small pieces of dates which is fine.)

Add butter, eggs and the 3 large bananas broken into chunks and process until mixture is fully combined.

Stir in (do not process) the diced banana.

Fill each muffin tin with 2½ tablespoons of batter. Top each with 1/8 teaspoon chocolate hazelnut dollop. Cover each muffin with another 2½ tablespoons of batter.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Test readiness by poking a toothpick or knife in the middle of a muffin; if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

Remove from oven and let cool before removing from muffin pan.

Dueling Muffins.

Last night, I cooked up a batch of my double chocolate toasted almond orange zest cranberry muffins from my cookbook (in the chocolate, yes chocolate, season) to deliver to the crew at KTLA (channel 5) in the morning.

Getting ready for a warm oven:

Truth be told, I have a meeting scheduled with their makeup artist to get some makeup tips since I’ll be hitting the road filming my new show and, well, I’ll be the makeup artist. (Hey, this bald head can get shiny, what can I say?) I wanted to do something a little special for the crew because they so graciously hosted me for a morning cooking spot on March 2nd, which was a lot of fun.

To mix things up a bit, I tried subbing out the almonds with pecans. (Okay. Maybe I was toasting the almonds and got a little sidetracked and they overcooked… a bit. Like burnt popcorn. I’m not saying that’s what happened, but it is a definite possibility.)

Well, one thing I have found again and again – it’s the little mistakes in life that, if embraced, can lead to even greater things. As one of my friends from back in the day used to say, “there are no mistakes, only outtakes.” This is one of the things I love about life and love about cooking. As it turned out, pecans were a delicious substitute for almonds. Dare I say, better? Maybe.

Warm melty chocolate pecan delight:

Well, you’ll have to let me know. Idea! You whip up a batch of the muffins with toasted almonds, I’ll bring the pecan version, and we’ll discuss this with a muffin in one hand and double shot Latte in the other hand. Deal? Okay, deal. In fact, let’s shake on it.