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The other day I was looking at the Washington Post food section, and lo and behold – Ellie Krieger’s recipe for Morning Glory Muffins popped out at me. Back in the day…way back in the day … I lived in Sioux City, Iowa. Bakeries weren’t common then like they are now, but I remember my mom taking me to get “morning glory buns.” These yeasted pillowy buns contained nuts, apple shreds, carrots, raisins, coconut, and pineapple. I remember thinking that they sounded weird, but once I tried them I was hooked.
I have never made them in their yeasted form, but now that I am typing this and I am feeling creative, I don’t see why I wouldn’t make challah dough then fill a rolled out rectangle with the same mixture. I will report back when I have the time to follow through on this brilliant idea.
Anyway, I love breakfast muffins – particularly when they have whole wheat flour, oil, and less sugar than normal. The only scones or muffins I eat happen to be those I bake – I am too cheap to pay good money for way less quality and unknown ingredients! I copied the Washington Post recipe and here I am. WAITING, as my kitchen smells with the most amazing smells, the last five minutes for these babies to be done. The cooling rack is ready, the timer is ticking away and I am trying to write down every little change I made to the original recipe.
Note that I am not a baking perfectionist (usually) and that my muffins aren’t exactly the same size. OK by me. The taste is better than I imagined. There is texture enough for my palate. Out of 12 muffins, 8 ½ now remain less than an hour later. (I had help from the other person who lives here). The recipe sounds OK but the result is way better. Exceeded my expectations, as they say.
Morning Glory Muffins
Makes 12 nice sized muffins
- ⅓ cup white raisins or dried cherries, soaked in hot water to cover
- ¾ cup walnuts (coarsely chopped)
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup avocado or other neutral oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- One 8 oz can crushed pineapple, juice and all
- 1 large carrot (peeled and grated)-about 1 cups
- ½ cup unpeeled grated apple (mine was a Braeburn because that is what was handy)
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour plus ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tsp coarse Turbinado sugar for the top of the muffins
Preheat the oven to 350 with the rack in the middle. Spray or grease a regular sized muffin tin with oil-one for 12 regular sized muffins
Soak the raisins in hot water, and leave them alone while you get everything else done
Toast the walnut pieces and the coconut at 350 for 1 ½-3 minutes. I did mine in the toaster oven and they were done before I could blink. If you overdo the coconut, it will burn – so watch out.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl whisk the oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add the pineapple and it’s juice and mix well. Drain the raisins, discard the water and stir the drained raisins into the liquid ingredients. Then add the grated carrot, apple, and cooled toasted nuts and coconut. Add to dry ingredients and stir until barely mixed.
Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter equally among the 12 muffin wells, sprinkle with a pinch of turbinado on top and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and wait five minutes, then remove the muffins to the rack to cool completely. These freeze for up to three months and stay fresh for a few days at room temperature. As if.
Oh, and soft cream cheese makes the perfect topping.