Sunday, July 12, 2009
Glorious Morning Muffins
The "Glorious Morning" muffin is by far my favorite breakfast muffin. It's carrot cake with an attitude. It's a wake-up-and-throw-your-arms-open-to-the-rising-sun muffin. The "Glorious Morning" muffin is moist, packed full of goodness and flavor, is sweet and toothsome; it is in a class of its own.
Most folks refer to this muffin as Morning Glory, and indeed that's what I always called it until one wintry morning, it was renamed, "Glorious Morning."
When I had to go into the office everyday, I would take the commuter bus. Each work morning, a line of us would start queuing up for the bus at 5:57 a.m., shivering, sleepy, sometimes cold to the bone. The parking lot was unlit, dark woods were behind us, and we were left standing in the starlit dark, listening for the hum of the bus's tires as the bus exited the interstate. As we stood there, stomping our feet, clapping our hands against the cold, and breathing warm breath into our cupped hands, we all shared a common misery and friendships developed.
One of my fellow commuters, Kevin C., is a dear human being; the planet is made a better place because he is here. He is a loving and devoted family man, he volunteers at his church, is involved in the public school. He is funny and kind. Kevin and I both love food, so the first time I made these for my office mates, I also brought in a couple extra to share with him. They were still warm from that morning's baking and Kevin opened the little bag, took a deep whiff, and declared, "These are Glorious Morning muffins!" And that's what I've called them ever since. Well named, Kevin!
These muffins take a little work and you will mess up a couple of dishes in the process. To me, the work is worth the effort to have a Glorious Morning. There are a number of variations around the web as well as one in my Best of New England cookbook, but the one I use is found at Earthbound Food Organic.
Glorious Morning Muffins
(aka Morning Glory Muffins)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
3/4 cup raisins (I use dried currants)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
1 cup (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350F. Prepare muffin tins by either using paper muffin cups in each cup or generously spraying with a baking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrots, and nuts'; stir to combine, breaking up any "clumps" or grated carrot or apple.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and blend well. Batter will be heavy and thick.
Using a one-half cup measuring cup or spoon, equally divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each to the brim. (I fill mine only 3/4 full as I don't like the muffins spilling out over the tops of the muffin cups and possibly burning to the pan.)
Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
Some folks may want to frost these with cream cheese frosting, but personally I think that gilds the lily and is too much. These muffins are perfect on their own.
Wishing you a Glorious Morning!