Fall is my favorite season to bake. Not because the weather is slightly starting to turn cooler, but because I love the ingredients from the end of summer, until the end of the year. Zucchini is still abundant and on everyone’s mind, while root vegetables become ripe for picking. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg start to creep in slowly, as well as warming spices of cardamom and cloves. I thought a comforting muffin recipe would be a nice treat to kick off the season, one loaded with fresh carrots, zucchini, toasted hazelnuts, and of course a touch of cinnamon.
Muffins are one of those baked goods that are super simple to put together in a jiffy, and make the perfect grab and go breakfast, after school treat for you and the kids, or a dessert at the end of a light meal. What’s also great about muffin batter, is that you can bake it in a loaf pan, slice it up, and serve it with tea or coffee, or give it to someone who really could use a fall pick-me-up. I just love fall.
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Spelt flour or whole wheat white flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
(Makes 12 Muffins)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin with cooking spray or brush with oil. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars on high speed, about 3 minutes.
2. Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix on high speed for 4 minutes, or until light and creamy.
3. Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix on low for 30 seconds and drizzle in the oil.
4. While mixer is running on low speed, pour in buttermilk, and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
5. Add carrots, zucchini and chopped hazelnuts to muffin batter and mix on low for 30 seconds more. Remove bowl and stir by hand to combine.
6. Scoop batter into each muffin cup. Bake muffins for 18-22 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.
7. Serve muffins immediately, or wrap and store for later. Enjoy!