Saturday morning I awoke with a craving for muffins. I was thinking about pumpkin muffins, since I had read on several blogs the day before that was what they were making for Tuesdays with Dorie. I could almost smell the spicy sweetness as I was thinking about them. But I didn't have any pumpkin in the house, so I began to look to see what ingredients I might have. I don't participate in the Tuesdays with Dorie, but I have her wonderful cookbook "From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan. I saw a recipe for Carrot Spice Muffins, and saw that I had most of the ingredients to make them. I'll post the recipe below as shown in her book, but here are the substitutions I made: The recipe calls for 2/3 cup of flavorless oil. I didn't have any, so I used about 2/3 olive oil and 1/3 clemantine-infused olive oil. The recipe also called for 3/4 cup of whole milk-I didn't have enough, so I mixed together a combination of whole milk, heavy cream, and skim milk. These substitutions worked just fine. And I really loved the subtle orange flavor that the infused olive oil gave them.
CARROT SPICE MUFFINS
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola, safflower, or corn
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup shredded carrots (about 3)
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup moist, plump currants or raisons
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted, cooled and chopped
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds ina regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, milk and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients, and with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough-a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the carrots, coconut, currants, and nuts. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.