These moist and fruity muffins get raves for being a great breakfast bread to eat on the run. They offer many options for flavor variations with nuts and dried fruits; play with different combinations to find your personal favorite. Dried cranberries or cherries are an excellent alternative to raisins. Oat or wheat bran and the fruits and carrots add a nice boost of fiber. Because this recipe yields sixteen muffins, you will need two standard muffin pans. Always fill any empty muffin cups with water to prevent scorching in the oven.
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup (2/3 oz./20 g) oat bran or wheat bran
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) plain yogurt or 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./ 375 ml) buttermilk
1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups (5 oz./155 g) grated, peeled tart apple (about 1 large)
1 1/4 cups (6 oz./185 g) finely grated, peeled carrots (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) golden raisins
2 Tbs. granulated sugar mixed with 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Butter 16 standard muffin-pan cups or line them with paper liners.
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar. Set aside.
If mixing the muffins by hand, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Stir in the yogurt and butter. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula just until half moistened, 8 to 10 strokes. Add the apple, carrots, nuts and raisins and stir just until evenly distributed. Do not overmix.
If mixing the muffins using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat the eggs on low speed until blended, then beat in the yogurt and butter. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until half moistened. Add the apple, carrots, nuts and raisins and stir just until evenly distributed. Do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes, then turn out onto the rack. Serve warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes 16 muffins.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking