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Carrot muffins with oat streusel topping

Carrot muffins with oat streusel topping

A couple months ago, I went to Home Goods to get an organizer for my desk at work. Every time I go there, regardless of what I'm looking for, without fail I find myself in the aisle with all the baking supplies. A terracotta pie plate? Oh yeah, I've been meaning to get one. A new pastry brush? You can never have too many. The real gem in this visit was a jumbo muffin pan. For a while now I've been wanting to make those jumbo muffins like the ones they have at bakeries. 

This muffin pan has now been sitting in my kitchen cabinet for over a month begging to be used. I was perusing my Bouchon Bakery book for some inspiration when I saw this title: "Carrot Muffins with Oat Streusel Topping." Game over! I actually had banana streusel muffins in mind when I bought the muffin pan, but I've made variations of banana bread and cookies a hundred times. It was time to try something new and different (or at least new and different for little old me). I've never baked with carrots so this was a fun one for me, not to mention my family who are my taste testers and critiques, went crazy for them.

A note about this recipe: as with most Bouchon recipes, you must rest the batter overnight. This allows the full depth of flavor to develop. This might seem like a downside but it's nice to have the batter all ready to bake some fresh muffins in the morning, after putting work in the night before. I would also prepare the oat streusel topping the night before as well, since it does have to rest for at least two hours.

Recipe courtesy of Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller & Sebastien Rouxel 
- 1 ¼ cups + 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
- ½ + ⅛ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ + ⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ + ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup + 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp. canola oil tsp. baking powder vanilla bean, split lengthwise
¼ vanilla bean, split lengthwise 
⅓ cup egg
- 1 ¾ cups shredded carrots

Oat Streusel topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 
- 1 ¼ cups + 1 tbsp. old-fashioned oats
- ¼ cup + 3 ½ tbsp. toasted wheat germ
- ½ cup + 2 ½ tsp. light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. + 1 ¼ tsp. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
¼ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 4 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-in pieces

To prepare batter:

  1. Peel carrots with a vegetable peeler. Using the medium grate side of a box grater, shred carrots and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add flour and salt, and whisk together.
  3. Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. In the bowl, combine sugar and oil for 1 minute on low. Scrape vanilla beans from inside of pod and add to mixture. Mix for 30 seconds to distribute the beans throughout. 
    *To ensure all the beans are evenly mixed in, use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add eggs and mix on low about 1 minute, until incorporated. Add dry flour mixture in two parts, mixing after each addition until just combined. 
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Using a spatula, fold shredded carrots into batter. Transfer batter to container with air-tight lid and refrigerate overnight. 

To prepare oat topping:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the vanilla bean and butter, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape up the bottom of the bowl to ensure nothing is being left at the bottom.
  2. Split the vanilla bean pod and scrape the beans into the dry mixture. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Add the cold butter pieces to the bowl and mix for 1-2 minutes until butter is crumbled and no large pieces remain. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
    *This recipe for the oat streusel topping is WAY more than what you need for one batch of muffins. You can refrigerate the rest and use it within two days or freeze up to one month. Keep in mind this topping goes well with other muffin recipes like banana or blueberry, so don't feel like you have to make carrot muffins all month long--not that that would be a bad thing.

The moment you've all been waiting for...

To bake the muffins:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line your muffin pan with muffin liners and spray liners with nonstick spray. from the top.
  3. Fill each liner stopping just ⅓in from the top.
    *I use an ice cream scoop that has a release lever which makes the process go faster. 
  4. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of oat streusel topping atop each muffin and gently press into the batter using the back of a spoon.
  5. Place the muffin pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for 41-43 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  6. Take pictures of your cute sous chef while you wait patiently and enjoy the aroma wafting around your kitchen.

Admire, unwrap, and try not to burn yourself while you take a bite.