Friday, 30 May 2014

Carrot Muffins

If you haven't stopped by the info tent at the market to see the Experience This! table, you really should. Each week it showcases special items that the vendors bring to market. This week's theme was "The Carrot Challenge." We asked vendors to submit things that used or that creatively featured carrots.

From The Owlery, we saw carrot themed finger rings. From Sweet Stuff, we saw adorable mini carrot muffins, complete with a painted icing carrot on top. From Celebrate, Gluten Free we saw mini carrot-chocolate cupcakes (what isn't better with chocolate, really!?) and single serving carrot pies (like pumpkin, only sweeter). Ada's Soap Shop contributed carrot soap that was a beautiful, gently orange colour. Honest Dumplings contributed ginger beef-filled dumplings that were a vivid orange colour from the careful addition of carrot juice. Even the Mallow Fellow got in on the fun with carrot cakes topped with a giant-sized portion of cream-cheese marshmallow!

Here Christina talks about how simple & easy it is to
prepare recipes from her cookbook.
One of the vendors that is new to the market this year is Forgotten Favourites. We highlighted Dagmar and Christina's work in a recent blog post. As you may recall, they are passionate about encouraging people to cook at home, and sharing easy to prepare meals around the kitchen table with friends and family. They fear that the art of home cooking is being lost in our busy, dine-out, take-out world. And so they have made a self-published cookbook of their favourite recipes. 

When you visit them at the market, they even have samples of some of their dessert recipe treats at their booth.

This week, they share their recipe for carrot muffins as part of the Experience This! theme. They write, 
We would love to submit our carrot muffins for this week’s theme.  In the 1990’s, every Second Cup, Java Jive, Coffee Factory, and Winks location bought these muffins from Dagmar Kuehn to sell in their store.  They were so popular that the staff of the Sugarplum Pantry were baking 150 dozen of these muffins every night!  We at Forgotten Favourites are now happy to share this recipe with the market shoppers.

Carrot Muffins 
These delicious muffins are made in a gigantic batch and freeze well. You'd be surprised how little extra time it takes to prepare a large batch of muffins. Prepared this way, they save you so much time in the long run.

Carrots are a farmers' market staple. These ones form a wall
of orange at Riverbend Gardens' booth at the height
of harvest season!
Dagmar writes, "Carrot muffins were a best seller at the Sugarplum Pantry from the beginning. At 5 years old Christina would be standing on a milk crate, her little arms pumping away, as she scraped carrots.  Older brother, Greg, would crack 30 dozen eggs, and older sister, Tanya, would fold boxes and look after customers. Fifteen years later we often baked 55 dozen carrot muffins in one night." Can you imagine producing muffins in that much volume!?

3-4 dozen muffins

2 ⅔ cups raisins
2 cups pecans
2 ⅔ lbs. carrots
8 ⅔ cups flour
3 Tbsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp. nutmeg
11 large eggs
2 cups vegetable oil

5 ⅓ cup white sugar
33 ⅓ fl. oz. can unsweetened applesauce

Soak the raisins in hot water. Chop the pecans. Scrape & grate the carrots. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, vegetable oil and sugar until well combined and light. Add the applesauce to the egg mixture.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Fold egg mixture into flour mixture. Drain raisins and add to mix with the carrots and pecans.        Scoop batter into greased muffin cups, or use muffin cup liners, filling each cup almost to the top of the liner. Bake for 35 minutes, until tester comes out clean.

The muffins will develop a higher dome if the batter is allowed to sit a few hours allowing the starches to swell. The batter can be refrigerated up to 4 days.  Pour into a large bowl, like a dishpan, and cover.  It will rise a bit, so allow for some headroom.    

where can you find ingredients at our market?

  • Dargatz Family Farm, Riverbend Gardens and Holden Colony all carry field grown carrots.
  • Dargatz Family Farm, Sunworks Organic Farm and Holden Colony all sell farm-fresh eggs.
Contributed by Christina Lofthaug and Dagmar Kuehn from their cookbook, Forgotten Favourites
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