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Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

The end of summer ushers in a new sort of eating.  The fresh, light flavors of berries and melons are replaced with the heartier, more earthy textures and flavors of carrots, zucchini, and winter squash.  These muffins are a perfect blend of wholesome, garden-fresh flavor with a warm blend of familiar spices.  The carrots are placed in a blender and chopped until virtually pureed, then mixed into a batter that bakes up moist and mouthwaters with a dollop of cream cheese baked in the center.  These might be the one muffin recipe capable of luring us summer lovers right into autumn.


Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Muffins
4 carrots
1/2 c. walnuts
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
6 T. butter
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. cream cheese
1 egg yolk
2 T. sugar

Place carrots, walnuts, and eggs in a blender. Blend until very, very finely ground.

Transfer to a large bowl and beat in sugar and butter. Add flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder (double the amount of baking powder to 1 tsp. if you’re baking at low altitudes), and salt. Mix ingredients together, making sure not to overmix. Spoon into muffin tins, prepared with cupcake wrappers. In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese, egg yolk, and sugar. Spoon 1-2 teaspoons in the center of the carrot batter for each muffin.

Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until the centers of the muffins are set.

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