Carrot Muffins

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Scented with allspice and laced with shreds of carrot, these muffins strike a balance between sweetness and spice. The streusel topping adds crunch and extra flavor while the spelt flour and oat bran lend an earthy flavor. This recipe can double as a morning coffee cake—imagine a rustic version of a carrot cake—if you bake the batter in a 9-inch round pan instead of individual muffin cups. Either way, top the batter with streusel before baking.

Butter for the tins

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons oat bran
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces

Dry Mix

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • cups coarsely grated carrots, about 2 medium

Wet Mix

  • 2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub muffin tins with a ⅓-cup capacity with butter.
  2. For the streusel topping, measure the flour, oat bran, sugars, and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter to the dry mixture. Rub the butter between your fingers, breaking it into smaller bits. Continue rubbing until the mixture feels coarse, like cornmeal. The more quickly you do this, the more the butter will stay solid, which is important for the success of the recipe.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain and other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Stir the carrots into the dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, and egg and whisk until thoroughly combined. Using a spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Scoop the batter into 8 muffin cups, using a spoon or an ice cream scoop. The batter should be slightly mounded above the edge. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the mounds of batter and press it into the batter slightly.
  6. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The muffins are ready to come out when they smell nutty and their bottoms are a dark golden-brown (twist a muffin out of the pan to check). Remove the tins from the oven, twist each muffin out, and place it on its side in the cup to cool. This ensures that the muffin stays crusty instead of getting soggy. These muffins are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day. They can also be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or frozen and reheated.