(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? Muffins

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I was toying with making Carrot Cake a few weeks ago for Easter but ultimately shied away from it because I have been cutting down on refined sugar. But it got me thinking about carroty baked goods, like these Morning Glory Muffins from the King Arthur Flour site (the recipe can be found here). The author presents quite a few possible adaptations — for mine, I opted for golden raisins, white whole wheat flour, unsweetened shredded coconut, and wheat germ. Side note: I only soaked the raisins very briefly, for about 3 minutes.

Here are changes I made to the printed recipe after reading reviewers’ comments: I reduced the brown sugar to 1/3 cup and substituted 1/3 cup of unsweetened apple sauce for 1/3 cup of the oil. I checked the baked muffins at 22 minutes (3 minutes early) and they were done. And finally, I got an additional 4 muffins out of the batter for a total yield of 16.

I love these muffins! The overall flavor is only lightly sweet but the little bursts of potent sweetness from the golden raisins really pack a punch. They are not light but are not doorstop-like either. And I can taste all the layers of flavor and the different textures– carrots, apple, raisins, walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, ginger. And I am especially gratified to not be eating something that’s cloyingly sweet or excessively oily.

Lastly, credit goes to my lovely husband (who’s perpetually mad fer it) for rechristening these (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? Muffins. 😍

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Pear-Ginger Muffins

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Minis

I’ve been recovering from surgery the past several weeks so I haven’t been doing a lot of baking, but had a hankering for something home baked today so I made Pear-Ginger Muffins (recipe on the Williams Sonoma site here). I underestimated how much prep work it would take to make the batter but powered through thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s brilliance in the form of the cast album of Hamilton. It magically helped quell my weariness with all the peeling, grating and dicing (cutting up the hard and sticky crystallized ginger has to be the absolute worst kitchen task evah).

I used white whole wheat flour in lieu of the all-purpose flour, and went a little light on the brown sugar (used 5 oz. rather than 5.3 oz.) and a little heavy on the fresh grated ginger (approximately double the 1 tablespoon asked for). I didn’t end up using all the chopped crystallized ginger that I had reserved for the tops of the muffins as it just looked a little excessive.

The recipe yield was supposed to be 12 standard sized muffins but I ended up with a bit of extra batter, so I was able to make 8 mini muffins as well. I baked the minis for 10 minutes which was perfect, but I think baking the full sized muffins for the suggested 15 minutes was a minute or two too long; I really should’ve checked them sooner. The muffins were browner than I would’ve liked and the tester was absolutely crumbless… I suspect they are a little overbaked.

The minis are nicely moist and not too, too sweet. I have to confess I was worried as it seemed like a lot of brown sugar for the amount of flour in the batter, plus there was all that sugar on the crystallized ginger and the sweetness from the pear (I used a red Anjou pear from the much appreciated get well fruit and snack basket that my SIL sent me a couple weeks ago.) Surprisingly, they aren’t crazy gingery even with the three forms (fresh, powdered and crystallized)… ginger zealot that I am, I would’ve enjoyed a bit more!

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Standard sized