Source: Desmond Hotel, Albany, New York
These muffins, which are are chock-full of fruit and nuts, would make a hearty start to any morning. The staff at The Desmond serves them in the restaurants, coffee shops, at banquets and for room service.
Since they could be made in advance and frozen, we think they'll make a great brunch item or Thanksgiving morning breakfast. Wrap the muffins individually in plastic wrap and them rewrap in a freezer bag before storing. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator, then unwrap and place back into muffin tins. Reheat in a 300 degree F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
11 ounces diced dried apricots
5 1/2 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 carrots, grated
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, grated
1 1/3 cups walnuts
1 1/3 cups coconut, shredded
2 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups honey
2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup flour
1 cup light brown sugar
Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
Soak apricots in water for 30 minutes. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Drain apricots and add to dry ingredients with carrots, apple, walnuts and coconut.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, extract and honey until blended. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add the egg mixture, beating slowly till well blended. Spray large muffin tins and fill to top.
For topping, combine butter, walnuts, 1 cup flour and brown sugar. Rub together with hands until a mealy mixture is formed. Sprinkle over top of muffins before baking.
Bake 20 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes and remove from pan.