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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spicy Carrot Spelt Muffins

Two years ago I arrived at the farmers market 1/2 hour before opening hoping to get one of the first bags of carrots for the season. Turns out there were at least a dozen people in line ahead of me and within five minutes another dozen were in line behind me. Just before they rang the market bell to signify sales could begin for the day a women stopped to ask me what we were waiting for and when I told her carrots she looked like she might punch me. "Really", she said, "Why is it you people always have to be so rude to tourists"? I felt bad, she obviously wasn't having a good Fairbanks experience, but I wasn't lying. Fairbanks carrots have got to be some of the best anywhere, and everyone here knows it. I know children that will choose a Fairbanks carrot over candy, they are that sweet. They say the reason is that the ground is so cold, it causes all the vegetables to produce more sugar. The carrots seem to be the sweetest of all.
To me a good spicy muffins are meant for fall. The cool rainy weather a few weeks ago convinced me that spicy muffins can be a good spring treat as well. I just can't wait to make them again this fall when the "candy carrots" arrive.

Spicy Carrot Spelt Muffins
adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

For the topping:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour
2 tablespoons oat bran
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

For the muffins
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg

For the topping: Combine the flour, oat bran, sugars and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter, and use your fingers to work the mixture to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Work as quickly as possible to keep the butter solid, place in fridge while making muffins.

For the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a little butter to grease a 12-muffin pan.
Sift together the flours, oat bran, sugars, allspice, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into a mixing bowl, pouring into the bowl any grain or other ingredients that remain in the sifter. Add the carrots and stir to coat.
Whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk and egg in a separate bowl until thoroughly combined. Use a spatula to incorporate the butter mixture into the flour mixture.
Portion the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the mounds of batter and press it into the batter slightly. Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes; the muffins should smell nutty and be golden brown.
Let rest for 3 minutes and remove muffins from pan and place on cooling rack.
Serve warm.


  1. Punch *you*? Silly tourist.
    Now I want to eat a Fairbanks carrot, sounds divine. My mouth is watering over the muffins.

  2. Janet,
    I'll send you a some this fall in a flat rate box. Some people keep them all winter (I think our house is too damp), so I am sure they would last however long it would take to ship them. Send me your address to (the name of this blog)

  3. Ugh, those look delicious. I never bake decadent things, but if i did - i would make these. Darn you for making me hungrier than i already am!


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