A friend of ours just recently purchased a new home and I took it upon myself to be kind and neighborly and to make something sweet from scratch…the only problem? She wasn’t home and wouldn’t be for hours. Raj couldn’t bear the thought to leave these muffins out in the cold on her porch…SO? We ate them. ALL. And have no regrets!
We’re not as rude as this sounds, but they were WARM and smelled delicious and why leave something out in the cold when WE could enjoy them? Plus, they’re easy enough to bake again some other day when I’m feeling especially kind and charitable (not often). The fact that they have currants in them and Raj still loved them says a lot. As you know, currants are fancy for raisins, which I’m not especially fond of either, but in this recipe, they add the right amount of layer on top of the carrots, orange zest and spices.
Carrot Muffins with Brown Butter and Currants
(makes 12 muffins)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup (about 2 medium) peeled, grated carrots
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
- To make brown butter, place butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the butter solids are browned and smell toasty, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes or a little longer. Watch carefully so the butter does not burn. As the butter browns, the foam rises to the top and dark brown particles stick to the bottom of the pan. As soon as the butter is dark golden brown, pour it into a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Combine the currants with the water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer until the currants are plump, about 10 minutes. Remove the currants from the heat, drain, and transfer to a small bowl to cool to room temperature.
- Into a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger together twice, then set the dry ingredients aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, and salt. Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. The egg mixture should begin to “ribbon” but not hold the ribbon.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Without stirring, place the carrots and currants on top of the egg mixture. Then pour the dry ingredients on top, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold everything together. Finally, fold in the browned butter, combining everything thoroughly and gently.
- Scoop the muffins into paper-lined muffin cups, dividing it evenly, using about 1/3 cup, of batter per muffin.
- Lightly sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of the turbinado sugar on top of each muffin. Bake until the muffins are cooked through and golden, about 18 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through the baking time. A wooden skewer inserted into a muffin should come out with a few crumbs clinging but no batter.
- Remove the pan rom the over and cool on a wire rack about 10 minutes before unmolding.
DO NOT LEAVE THESE MUFFINS UNATTENDED. Someone may decide to steal them. They are best enjoyed warm with a cup of afternoon coffee or tea.