amazing muffins and crazy ice cream part I

The raisins-in-baked goods question seems to divide folks and I’ve always found myself on the side of the not so muches. A handful as-is makes me very happy, but keep them out of my cookies, quick breads, scones, etc. thank you very much. (Don’t even get me started on sour cream raisin pie.)

But I baked with a friend recently and when she suggested we make Super Muffins, I couldn’t say no. (Super Muffins? How often do you get the chance to make Super Muffins?) I overlooked the fact that there were raisins involved as well as that the recipe looked much like that for the ever-popular Morning Glory muffins. (Never a fan–too chock-full-of-goodness for me.)

But I was baking with a friend and willing to try something new. And things didn’t look all bad–outside of raisins, the other ingredients were winners: oats, bran, whole wheat flour, shredded carrots, applesauce, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger. I was willing to look past the raisin thing and give these a try.

And it’s a good thing I did or I would not have been able to tell you that these were the Best Muffins Ever: full of flavor, dense but not in a doorstop way, just sweet enough. The raisins? They melted into the muffin’s structure, only making themselves known so far as their hit of tangy sweet.

yum?

yum?

out of the oven

out of the oven

Super Muffins cooling

Super Muffins cooling

These muffins are prize winners on so many levels. My baking friend and I enjoyed one for lunch, though they’re also no-brainers for breakfasts and snacks. And I imagined they’d also make a fine dessert warmed, then drizzled with caramel sauce and served alongside vanilla ice cream.

definitely yum

definitely yum

Thinking ahead, we talked about mixing pumpkin or sunflower seeds into the batter. Or chia seeds. Or flax seeds. Or subbing pumpkin puree in for part (or all) of the applesauce. Adding freshly grated nutmeg and upping the ground ginger seemed smart. But I wouldn’t touch the carrot amount–it was perfect. And despite what I thought going in, I’d keep the raisins. (Though perhaps they could be plumped in bourbon rather than boiling water?Β  πŸ˜‰ )

The muffin recipe follows, but note that I took my suggestion of serving these muffins drizzled with caramel sauce and alongside ice cream very seriously. (or as seriously as you can take something as fun as Super Muffins, caramel sauce, and ice cream πŸ™‚ ) There’s more to say about that ice cream, but seeing as how this is getting long, I’ll leave you with a picture and ask you to come back later in the week for the second half of this divine dessert pairing. (There will also be beer chocolate sauce, so well worth the wait.)

super muffins, DIY ice cream, and salted caramel sauce--it doesn't get any better than this

super muffins, DIY ice cream, and sea salt caramel sauce–it doesn’t get any better than this

Now for those muffins…

Super Muffins

Credit for these absolutely above-average muffins goes to my friend Stephanie’s grandma–thanks for sharing!

1 to 2 cups raisins
3 cups all-bran cereal
1Β  (23-ounce) jar unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 cups milk
3 large carrots, grated (about 2 cups) or more if desired
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil (we used coconut oil)
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt

2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350Β°F. Grease muffins cups.

In small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add raisins; let stand 5 minutes. (DO NOT DRAIN.)

In large bowl, combine cereal, applesauce, milk, carrots, brown sugar, eggs, and oil; mix well. Stir in raisin mixture. In separate large bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients except for walnuts. Gently stir wet ingredients into dry; mix just until combined. Stir in walnuts if using.

Ladle batter evenly into muffin cups, filling each completely. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate to store. Can also be frozen, which is good as this recipe Makes 40 Muffins!

40 thoughts on “amazing muffins and crazy ice cream part I

  1. You are so right about raisins dividing people, and I am firmly planted on the non-raisin side of the fence. I love branny, oatty, carrotty muffins (yes, those are all real words), but I’ll leave the raisins out thank you very much! I’ll make Super -1 Muffins and report back πŸ™‚

    • but see, that’s what I thought, too, Andi. Not saying you should make them with raisins, just saying if you lived closer I’d bring you one of these and make you take at least one bite πŸ˜‰ lol. I really didn’t expect to love them as much as I do.

      But now I know to never expect an oatmeal raisin cookie to turn up at Weary Chef!

  2. These look amazing: I love muffins, and carrot muffins are even better. I’m still not sure about the raisins, though….If you’ve ever seen the Johnny Depp movie “Benny and Joon”, you would know “raisins are just humiliated grapes”. πŸ™‚ You may have convinced me to leave them in with your description, though. We will see.

    • Thanks, Jenny. Had no idea there were so many others who didn’t like baked raisins. (or maybe we’re just more vocal here?) That’s a great line about humiliated grapes. Might be borrowing πŸ˜‰ let it go on record that I still don’t like raisins in baked goods. Just happen to like these muffins. Wonder what you’ll think…

  3. Yay! The muffins are here, the muffins are here! I’m excited, can you tell? πŸ˜‰ These look like they were worth the wait – delish! Now, normally raisins and I aren’t on speaking terms with each other, but perhaps we can put our differences aside and come together in this case. I might just have to do some baking this weekend to find out! πŸ™‚

    • Your enthusiasm is always appreciated, Amb πŸ™‚ See above comment for my take on non-raw raisins (still don’t like). And also see above for an awesome movie line. In foodforfun comments of all places πŸ˜€

      Happy almost Fri.

  4. They look delicious (especially with the caramel!). Wish I had one right now to snack on since I’m procrastinating starting dinner. And your question on whether the raisins could be plumped in bourbon? I think the answer to “should I use booze?” is always an emphatic “yes!” Can’t wait to read about the ice cream!

  5. YUM! These muffins definitely look awesome. I love that you take the healthy treat and bomb it with caramel and ice cream! πŸ™‚ Oh and beer chocolate sauce? nice πŸ™‚

  6. I feel the same way about raisins– but now you’ve got me thinking about it. Maybe they’re not so bad after all. The muffins sounds yummy!! With caramel sauce and ice cream– perfect!! Can’t wait for Part 2. πŸ™‚

  7. These carrot cereal walnut muffins look great als a tasty breakfast , a healthy snack or a grand & appetizing dessert! That salted caramel sauce looks smashing too! I can’t wait to make them!

  8. Looks all delicious, can’t wait for the other recipes. Seems like soaking raisins or other dried fruit before baking makes them taste much better. I’ve done it with different teas before as well. Soaking in bourbon sounds really good πŸ˜€

    • soaking raisins in tea? never occurred to me, but why not? What teas do you like best for that? Good to see you here πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping!

    • My girls like them a lot, and they’re not easy to please when it comes to “healthy” foods. Hope they’re a success on your end as well. I’m looking forward to making your scones πŸ™‚

  9. Pingback: amazing muffins and crazy ice cream part II | food for fun

  10. Definitely yum! I’m on the pro-raisin side, I love them in cakes, muffins and cookies oh and always loved raisin bran as a kid too! These muffins certainly are super, must try them!

  11. These sound and look wonderful! I usually enjoy muffins (either banana or pumpkin) with a bit of cream cheese on top, and I bet these would be no exception! πŸ˜€ Thanks for sharing.

    • Beth! Six months later and I’m responding πŸ˜‰ Am pinging back to this post and was reading through comments. And your stands alone unanswered. Sheesh. Someone’s going to get fired over this.

      Agreed these would make a decent solo meal. Good for those quick lunch breaks the K teachers take?

      • hey, no worries on the timeline, liz. i’m easy ) as for lunches, 3 of the 5 days each week i eat with the kindergarten and pre-kindergarten. always an adventure )

  12. These look delicious – I like the pairing of the muffins with ice cream, but in particular that you have added sea-salt caramel sauce. Gonna add this to the “to make soon” list!

    • Thanks, Claire! Very much appreciate all of your visits and likes and comments. Glad to have you here again. A friend made a comment that I seem to have a knack for making healthy recipes go the other way, and I guess that’s what happened here. The muffin was screaming for ice cream so what’s a cook to do? πŸ˜‰

  13. Pingback: 2 oatmeal cookies–one traditional, one not so much | food for fun

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