Carrot, Apple and Walnut Muffins

Orlando. Part two. The Conference.


The conference is the same every year. Fourteen thousand human resources professionals gather from all around the country. Do you have any idea how much Diet Coke is consumed by 14,000 women in four days?  There are lots of scrungees, lots of khakis, lots of crocs.  I would come in an Eyes Wide Shut mask if I thought I could get away with it.  Thirty two percent of these attendees will be named Barb.


For the next 4 days, I will see Barbs everywhere- in the hotel lounge, walking around with Mickey Mouse ears (yes, they make you look fat), making jokes about the gator ball appetizer they just had at the pool bar, gulping up half price electric Blue Hawaiians like their khakis were on fire. Might even see a cannonball if I stay up that late. (Don’t worry, I won’t).


On the days of the conference we get a boxed lunch. A sandwich wrap and a giant cookie. What’s with the giant cookie? Is it supposed to make me forget we haven’t seen daylight for the last 12 hours of this conference?? If you want to make me happy, hide a nip of tequila in my boxed lunch and I will meet you at the pool later for the Macarena, Barb….


All I can think is: get me home where there are no Chilli’s, no Checkers, no Chuy’s, no Chachki’s so I can pack my own lunch that doesnt automatically come with diabetes and a trio of dipping sauces.


Something healthy- like this muffin. Yes, it counts if it has carrots in it.


Something healthy that will give me lots of energy so I can dance to the Society of Human Resources Management’s main event headliner……..


Oh you guessed it. That would be DJ Jazzy Jeff, regretting everything he has ever done in his life that led to headlining the Society of Human Resources main event.


Which actually wasn’t too much. Should have had a muffin.

Carrot, Apple and Walnut Muffins

  • Topping
  • 3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp butter cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup plus 11/2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 5tsp light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 11/2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1tsp sunflower oil
  • 11/2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 cups plus 6 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 free range eggs
  • ⅔ cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz peeled, grated carrots
  • 7 oz Granny Smith apples, coarsely grated
  • 1 cup walnuts (or pecans)
  • ⅔ cup golden raisins
  • ⅔ cup flaked coconut
  1. To make the topping, in a bowl, stir together the butter, flour, and sugar. Rub with your fingertips until the butter is incorporated and you have a crumbly texture. Mix in the oats and seeds and then the water, oil and honey. Stir everything together and set aside. It will be a wet, sandy, texture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, superfine sugar, vanilla, and grated carrot and apple. Gently fold in the walnuts, raisins, and coconut and then the sifted flour mixture. Do not overmix, don’t worry if the batter is lumpy. Spoon into the muffin liners and scatter the topping generously over the top. Bake for about 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan when they are just warm and allow them to cool before serving. Their flavor will actually improve after a couple of hours.



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