I need to learn to wear an apron. I have one. Itâ€™s colorfully striped and my mom gave it to me several years ago. Do I ever think to put it on when Iâ€™m about to make a huge mess in the kitchen? No. It sits in a drawer right in front of me while oil spatters on my shirt an little flecks of tomato sauce make their way onto anything white that I might be wearing. I should really wear the apron while Iâ€™m eating, for that matter, since balsamic vinegar and pasta sauce rarely make it to my mouth without leaving a drop here and there.
When I started grating the carrots for this recipe I remembered my apron, got it out of the drawer, and put it on. No carrot juice left itâ€™s mark on me!
Now for the muffins. Itâ€™s been a while since Iâ€™ve baked my favorite treat. The time was right for muffins this morning. I was craving chocolate after breakfast (who doesnâ€™t?) so I shuffled through some cookbooks and my recipe box for a chocolate chip vehicle. A recipe for Carrot Cake Bars came up as the winner. Iâ€™ve made these bars many times before and they always satisfy my craving for carrot cake without making me feel too guilty if I eat several a day.
How did bars become muffins, you ask? I donâ€™t have the right pan to make bars and muffins come pre-portioned. I swapped out raisins with chocolate chips and made the recipe vegan, since Lee ate the last eggs this morning. Necessity is the mother of invention!
Hot from the oven with melting chocolate chips in every bite, these satisfied my chocolate craving. I love how oats give muffins crunchy tops and chewy centers!
C is for carrot. C is for chocolate: Muffins on a cute little plate from my grandmother.
Chocolate Chip Carrot Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter or vegetable oil*
3/4 cup milk or non-dairy milk*
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flax seed + 1/4 cup water
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice, because itâ€™s yummy)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrot
Handful semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine ground flax seed with water. Set aside.
In a medium bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar and butter (or oil).
Add the milk, flax mixture, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring gently until just combined.
Fold in grated carrot and chocolate chips.
Spoon into muffin pan lined with paper or silicone liners or into silicone liners on a baking sheet. (I filled 10 silicone cups about 3/4 full and the batter rose just to the tops of the cups when baked.)
Bake at 350 F. for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are crispy and brown.
Next up: The sourdough loaf Iâ€™ve been baking but still havenâ€™t captured on film? ICE CREAM in my new ice cream maker? I know, maybe some sourdough waffles in my untested waffle iron. Iâ€™m sure all these things will make it to the blog eventually!