Carrot Sweet Potato Muffins

Breakfast and I have always had a love/hate relationship. I love putting maple syrup on everything but it’s also the one meal that doesn’t have the option for dessert. What’s that about?

carrot sweet potato muffins

When I make time for breakfast, I like to keep it easy while also decadent. That’s why I’ve taken to using pre-made crescent dough to make things like chocolate peanut butter crescent rolls and raspberry Nutella crescent rolls. I also love treating myself to classics like waffles and pancakes. When I can whip them up using yummy pancake mix and avoid all the fuss of pulling ingredients together? Even better.

One of the reasons I love Birch Benders (besides the fact that they make delicious pancake mix) is that they’re always looking for ways to use their mix in recipes that aren’t for pancakes! When they reached out asking if I wanted to do some recipe testing with their mix, I didn’t have to think twice before saying yes.

As a lover of all things fall (booties, fall flavors, Thanksgiving), the Birch Benders sweet potato mix was easily my favorite. After a few pancake breakfasts that had me tied to my chair to eat them, I knew I had to find a way to bring the pancakes on-the-go with me.

Filled with cinnamon and nutmeg, these muffins scream ‘fall’ in the best way possible. They’re topped with a sweet and crunchy pecan crumble that perfectly balances out the savory muffin base. Oh, and did I mention they are filled with carrots? Because they are. Don’t worry though, the carrot flavor is minimal but the textural element they bring is so worth it.

I packed a tupperware of these muffins for my golf outing on Sunday and my golf buddies were so glad that I did. Partly because it was barely 50 degrees and they were just relieved to be snacking inside after our chilly round, but also because the snack itself was delicious. One of my friends even admitted to usually hating carrot cake and she all but inhaled her muffin. That’s a good sign, right?

TL:DR: Pancake mix is for so much more than pancakes, starting with muffins!

Muffin Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup grated carrots (from about 4 medium carrots - be sure to strain out the water)
  • 2 ½ cups Birch Benders sweet potato pancake mix
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup almond milk
     

Topping Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with muffin liners. Set aside to make batter.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar together. Mix in one egg at a time followed by the grated carrots. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Birch Benders sweet potato pancake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Turn the mixer on low and mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches. Once fully combined, mix in the almond milk. Scoop batter into muffin tin so that each tin is ¾ of the way full. Set aside to make topping.
  • In a small bowl, combine the pecans, sugar and flour. Using (clean) hands, mix the softened butter into the rest of the ingredients to form crumble. Divide crumble evenly on top of each muffin.
  • Bake muffins for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

The pancake mix featured in this post was provided by Birch Benders. All opinions are my own.

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Carrot Sweet Potato Muffins - made with pancake mix!

Monday Musings, Part VI

It’s been nearly a month since I mused on a Monday so I figured now was as good a time as any to check back in!

Cherry blossom season is here and D.C. is baking on theme. How beautiful is this donut from Astros?  

Cherry blossom season is here and D.C. is baking on theme. How beautiful is this donut from Astros?  

I mentioned last week that I would be moving soon. If you want a sneak peek of where I’m going, make sure to follow my Instagram story in the first week of April. We’re heading up there to explore our new hood and make some friends so I’ll be sure to check out some sweet spots. Also, if you know how to make friends please send me tips. I’m only half kidding.

I’ve got my bi-weekly craft lunch on Thursday and I’m realizing I’ve made no progress since our last lunch. I’m not sure where the time has gone but it definitely hasn’t gone towards stitching. Do you craft at work with your coworkers? Maybe your coworkers aren’t as awesome as mine.

Chicken pot pie for the win. Best Sunday night ever.

Chicken pot pie for the win. Best Sunday night ever.

One of the reasons I haven’t found the time to make progress on my needlepoint projects is likely because I’ve been crushing my reading list. I’m on the last few chapters of The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit and I’m absolutely loving it! It takes place in Maine and I have huge respect for someone who lived outdoors through two decades worth of Maine winters. The main character (keep in mind this is a true story) survives solely on eating food he steals from cabins near his campsite, which I find to be the saddest part. He never gets to choose what he eats and is at the mercy of what the locals stock their fridges with. He also never gets to cook in a well stocked kitchen or enjoy the process of experimenting with flavors, something I could never imagine living without.

Warm weather means more mid-day frozen treats.

Warm weather means more mid-day frozen treats.

April’s only a few days away and while today seems to have cooled down again (just in time for my first round of golf of the season), the weather forecast promises that it’s finally going to start feeling like spring in D.C. this week. This of course means that I’ve got frozen treats on my mind all the time. Time to start cranking them out I suppose!

In my browser history this weekend:

New on Sweet Sundays

Chocolate Mousse Meringue Parfaits

This past winter’s chocolate and meringue cake was such a stunner that I wanted to recreate it in a more approachable way. I’ve also been sitting on these glass bowls from World Market for months waiting for just the right dessert to use them. You could even say I was waiting for the perfect dessert.

‘Parfait’ in french quite literally means ‘perfect’ and I can’t think of a better word to describe this absolutely perfect chocolate almond dessert. Did you know french is my first language? I grew up between France and french Canada but the only time my heritage becomes apparent is when I say words like ‘croissant’ or ‘bearnaise’. I’m not trying to sound obnoxious that’s just how I’ve always pronounced those words.

Y’all know I have a weak spot for mousse, especially mousse in mason jars. I skipped the mason just this time around but don’t worry, the mousse is just as amazing. Perhaps even more so because I added in some almond extract. While usually somewhat overpowering, it worked quite well in this dish to balance out

As if getting married wasn’t enough of a life change, I’ve got a big move coming up as well. I won’t spoil the fun by giving away where I’m going but just know I’ll be eating way more of my favorite foods to help me cope with my stress over the next few months. That’s a healthy way of dealing with reality, right?

Meringue Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (93g) confectioners sugar
  • ⅓ cup (41g) cocoa powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup (60g) granulated sugar

Mousse Ingredients

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 7 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Recipe

  • Start with the mousse. Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. Heat ¾ cup heavy cream over medium heat in a saucepan until simmering. Temper into the egg yolks and return to the stovetop, mixing constantly, until it reaches 160 degrees. Careful not to heat it too quickly - you don’t want scrambled eggs! This is your custard. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring between each 30 seconds, until fully melted. Mix in the almond extract and the salt. Let cool for a few minutes before mixing into the custard.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk the rest of the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the custard until the color is uniform. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.
  • Next, work on the meringues. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with nonstick mats. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar and the cocoa powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Mix in the granulated sugar and continue beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder mixture until the color and texture is uniform. Transfer to a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe three rounds in sizes that will fit in your dish of choice. Because mine goes from small to large, the three rounds were small, medium and large. Depending on how tall your dishes are you will be able to make 3-4 parfaits so use that to decide how many meringue rounds to measure out. Bake these for about 15-20 minutes, or until they feel firm. You don’t want a gooey meringue.
  • Change out the piping tip for a very small round one and pipe long thin sticks with the rest of the meringue dough. These will be broken up and become topping. Once the first tray of meringues is done, bake these for about 8-10 minutes, or until they easily lift off the tray and are hard.
  • Let all of the meringues cool completely before assembling.
  • Ready to assemble? Transfer the mousse to a piping bag. Place first meringue piece in dish and top with mousse. Repeat with the next piece of meringue and more mousse. Top with meringue crumbles. Repeat with the rest of the dishes.

Mini Key Lime Pies

Key lime pie has always had a special place in my heart because the florida keys are a frequent vacation destination for my family.

Nothing screams warmth/summer/beach quite like the official dessert of the sunshine state so I knew that a batch of mini key lime pies was exactly what I needed to continue on my quest to force warm weather into being through baking. See my post on spring M&M cookies for more on that.

While the original recipe gets its name from the tart key limes found all over the keys, this recipe is made with the more common limes found at the grocery. I’m all about being practical so when I decided I was craving key lime pie this week, I made use of the limes I had on hand rather than go on a mission to find key limes. Also it was cold so I didn’t want to go outside more than was absolutely necessary.

I don’t often encourage using silicon bakeware over other types but for this recipe you are definitely going to want to opt for a silicon muffin tin. It makes pushing the pies out of the muffin tin so easy! Silicons tins get a bad rap sometimes because they cook differently than metal or glass but in this case the cook time is so short that this isn’t an issue. Plus the lime juice and the sweetened condensed milk are reacting to cook the egg yolks anyways to a certain degree so the cook time is more to help thicken the pie. It works for ceviche so why wouldn’t it work for key lime pie? That being said, don’t take this as me advocating for you to not cook your pie. Follow the recipe but make sure to drop this knowledge next time you serve the dish to impress your fellow key lime-enthusiasts.

After devouring a pie (or two), all I want to do is head back to warm weather and lay by the beach to catch up on my newest Book of the Month book! If you love to read and challenge yourself by getting pushed out of your book comfort zone you need to give this a try. This month I’m reading Dead Letters, which Monica warns isn’t your typical thriller but I’m hoping it picks up in the second half and blows me away. TBD.

Since I can’t read by the beach I’ll have to resort to reading with another mini key lime pie, curled up under my favorite blanket while also swatting onyx away from my food. He knows he doesn’t like limes but he still wants to get as close as possible and potentially step all of over it just because. I altered my usual go-to graham cracker crust for these pies by adding in some white chocolate. With the white chocolate in the crust and the sweet whipped cream topping, the sweetness balances out the tartness of the lime flavor in the actual pie.

What’s your favorite warm weather treat? What do you like to bake to pretend like it’s summer? Let me know and I just might make it next!

Ingredients

  • 6 slabs of graham cracker cookies
  • 2 tablespoons of white chocolate chips, divided
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of lime zest
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine 2 tablespoons of white chocolate, the graham crackers and the butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until crackers are a fine dust and mixture feels wet from butter. Divide crust mixture into 9 spots in a silicon muffin tin and press into bottom. Bake for about 10 minutes to get crust crunchy.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Mix in lime juice and lime zest. Spoon mixture into the muffin tin on top of the baked crusts. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until centers are set. Remove from oven and let cool completely on rack before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Remove from muffin tin by pushing up the bottom of each spot and return mini key lime pies to fridge until ready to serve.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Scoop or pipe onto mini key lime pies and enjoy!

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