I'm about crafted out, so I'm sharing a recipe for Scribbit's Winter Bazaar this week. I found this recipe in my latest Country Register and since I am abstaining from chocolate, the next best thing is cheesecake! And since there are carrots in the muffins, the cheesecake calories are cancelled out. And if you drink it with a diet Dr. Pepper...WELL, you're basically in the caloric black hole. They are a little bit of work, but well worth the effort.
Carrot Cheesecake Muffins
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup finely grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange rind
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. sugar
Set oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease cupcake tin or line with cupcake papers.
Blend cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. of the orange rind until thoroughly mixed and set aside until needed.
Cream butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs, orange juice concentrate and evaporated milk. Stir in the rest of the orange rind, carrots, raisins, and walnuts and thoroughly blend. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add carrot mixture and stir just until moistened. Spoon 2 Tbsp. batter into each of muffin tins. Spoon 1 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture on top. Cover with remaining batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.
(If you're a Pampered Chef junkie like I am, I used the medium scoop for the bottom, the littlest scoop for the cheesecake mixture, and another medium scoop of batter for the top and it was perfect.)