We're a few days away from the public school Halloween celebration.
Now that I spend everyday in the hood, and I talk about cooking and baking all day, store bought holiday baking just feels wrong... for me (no judgments!). That said, I don't have a ton of time and I have to watch the sugar intake / substance bit - I like their teachers, I know what happens to my kids on candy.
On all fronts (so far), nothing is better than my Cocoa Carrot Muffins, who happen to masquerade as chocolate cupcakes. Their fluffy dark 'chocolateliness' looks and tastes decadent, but the sugar is ok and the veg content is great. I've also switched the AP for whole wheat flour and nobody can tell. Everyone's happy.
If it were spring, you might see this same recipe going to my kids' school with a different frosting flavour and sprinkle, but it's Halloween, so they're going to be topped with Orange Cream Cheese frosting and Halloween sprinkles.
If you are short on time, but still want to get your kids beaming, give this a whirl. It's a winner.
Over time, I've changed these to be faster to prep - I use my food pro rather than a grater, the change in carrot texture is totally undetectable when they're baked. And I do a whole bag of carrots, rather than about half. It makes about 8 cups so I throw the other half in a plastic zip bag and into the freezer for an even faster batch next time. I've also tried to forego the scoops and spoons and make the whole thing in a batter bowl with a spout, pouring into the cups - this takes practice though, and arm strength.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Combine cream cheese and butter with an electric hand-held beater, or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, until soft and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, mixing to combine well.
Try ½ cup and adjust if you like yours sweeter.
Add the emulsion and adjust to taste. Finally add the coloured a bit at a time, adjusting as you go. If you are using liquid colour, start with a few drops, then adjust (and you're on your own, I haven't tried this! Hopefully the frosting consistency is ok)
I sweep of a knife of this loveliness is fine on a COMPLETELY COOLED muffin is fine, but it's super nice (and easier than you think) if you pipe it one with a giant flower tip. Finally, add sprinkles.
Put them in an airtight container (no overnight refrigeration required) and drop them off at school in the morning. Remember to sharpie your name on your container.
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