When the Food Network schedule for Spring dishes for #SensationalSides came out, I knew it would be too much of a stretch to consider Carrot Cake for today when carrots are our featured dish. Still, I could not quite get the idea of a baked good with carrots out of my mind and this past weekend it all came together with these Cornbread Muffins with Carrots in them. While you may have been luxuriating in the warmth of Spring on your planet, those of us in Colorado were dealing with the largest snowstorm of the season and soup was on the stove in my kitchen.
The truth is I make soup all year round and had even purchased a pound of mixed beans before the weekend, just to have on hand. They were so pretty! Once cooked, the lentils dissolved as they do and it may have disguised the beauty of the some of the other beans but it was so good nonetheless. I have gone totally nuts with an electric pressure cooker; bean soup in 30 minutes? Yep…and good too. While this post isn’t about the soup, I still have to say I’m loving all the things that new toy can do and so quickly too. I wanted soup and didn’t have a ham hock so some bacon, beans, onion, celery and chicken stock and soup was done in short order. I’m sold…go get one, they are amazing!
But back to the muffins. They are so good and they have to be good for you right? I mean they have carrots IN them! I suppose you could eat them without the maple butter but it is so over the top good, why would you? I think I might have to keep maple butter on hand 24/7; it’s been good on plain toast for my normal coffee and toast breakfasts (yeah, we go all out here for breakfast don’t we?).
While I could say these resemble zucchini bread, that’s not true. There is nowhere near the sugar content that goes into zucchini bread and makes it more of a dessert. These are corn muffins…just slightly sweet with maple syrup in the mix and with that great texture from the corn meal. I doubled the recipe and am not complaining. Great with soup, salad or your favorite entree; it’s a great way to include carrots in your meal, especially if you’ve got kids that might say ‘no way’ to carrots but can’t pass up a muffin! Of course the maple butter doesn’t hurt. Nope, not one bit!
Carrot Corn Muffins with Maple Butter
- 1 cup shredded raw carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For Maple Butter
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and fill muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine carrots and cornmeal; add milk, syrup, eggs and oil to the carrot/cornmeal mixture.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon and blend the dry mixture into the carrot mixture.
- Pour batter into muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in pan on wire rack.
To Make Maple Butter:
- Using electric mixer, beat butter in medium bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in maple syrup until well blended and smooth.
- DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.