Do you ever have crazy dreams?
I sure do, and recently, they've been particularly strange. It seems that, when I finally fall asleep these busy days, it doesn't take long at all before I'm into all sorts of wild dreams, and my nights are as active as my days!
One particularly unusual dream occurred just as my alarm was going off yesterday. I really wasn't ready to get up, and felt like morning had come way too soon. I sleepily hit the doze button on my phone and was instantly back in lala land. Precisely nine minutes later, the bell alarm went off again, and I repeated the scenario. As the third set of chimes began to ring, a voice in my dreams said the craziest thing. In a frustrated tone of voice, I heard someone say, "We've already lit three red candles for her!"
What in the world? I jumped out of bed, laughing to myself, but at the same time, not wanting to know what would happen if "they" had to "light another red candle" for me! What a funny way to start the day!
To be honest, I'd much rather start the day with one of these delicious Gingerbread Morning Glory Muffins. While I love almost every kind of muffin, I know that most are not very healthy and probably not a great way to begin a day. Actually, it would be pretty similar to eating a piece of cake for breakfast, minus the icing! Morning Glory Muffins, on the other hand are loaded with great ingredients; whole wheat flour, lots of shredded carrots, raisins, coconut, diced apple and fresh orange juice. There's also eggs, oil and brown sugar.
I adapted the traditional Morning Glory recipe to make a fun seasonal muffin, adding cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg along with a splash of molasses for a classic gingerbread flavor. And for just a bit of a splurge, (it is the holiday season after all), I made a simple brown sugar, oatmeal crumble which takes these wonderful muffins right over the top, and makes them a perfect treat for a holiday breakfast or brunch.
Throw together a batch of these Gingerbread Morning Glory Muffins to have on hand for holiday get-togethers. They freeze wonderfully, so you can make them well in advance. They're perfect for gift-giving; who wouldn't love a stash of healthy delicious muffins for a little surprise treat? If you have a batch or two tucked away in the freezer, it's easy to pull out a half dozen, arrange them on a pretty plate and dress it all up with cellophane wrap and a pretty bow.
I just warmed a muffin for myself and one for Scott. I told him that I thought I probably needed to eat one in order to properly finish this post. He thought he needed one too (as my editor), in order to properly encourage me as I wrote the post. "Delicious!" is what we both exclaimed.
Oh, and knowing there's a bunch of these in the freezer will be sure to entice me to get up with the first alarm for the next week or so. No more "red candles" for this girl! No way!
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- For the gingerbread spice mix:
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- For the topping:
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon gingerbread spice
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- For the muffins:
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour you can also use White Whole Wheat flour if you can't find the whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- gingerbread spice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup shredded coconut packed
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 medium red apple cored and diced into small dice
- 2 cups shredded carrot You can either shred your own or pick up a bag of the pre-shredded carrots at the grocery store.
- 3 large eggs
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 16 muffin cups* or line them with papers.
For the gingerbread spice mixture, combine all spices and mix well. Set aside.
For the topping, combine all topping ingredients, except the pecans, in a medium-size bowl. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until crumbly. Add pecans and stir again. Place topping in the refrigerator until ready to add to muffins.
In a large bowl (I'm talking really big), combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, remaining gingerbread spices and salt. Stir well.
Add the carrots and coconut, apples and raisins. Stir well and the run your hands through the mixture, breaking up any small clumps of brown sugar, coconut or raisins that remain.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, orange juice, molasses and vanilla. Stir till smooth.
Add egg mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly moistened (mixture will be quite thick).
Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pans, filling about ¾ full.
Divide the topping mixture evening among the muffins, about one rounded tablespoon per muffin.
Bake the muffins for 22 to 26 minutes, until they're nicely domed and a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the inner muffins comes out clean. I like to check them at about 15 minutes, and if they seem to be getting quite brown, I cover them with some foil for the last minutes of baking.
Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack, then turn out of pans to finish cooling. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap or a zippered storage bag, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze* for longer storage.
Yield: 16 muffins.
* When I freeze any type of baked goods, I place them in the freezer on a pan, unwrapped. As soon as they are frozen, I place them in a zippered plastic bag or a storage container. That way, they don't get crushed or stuck to each other as they are freezing.
Oh my, these would be a delightful way to wake up on Christmas morning! Much better than lighting another red candle - LOL. I've had some crazy dreams lately too that seemed so real!
Jo Anne T.. says
WOW! Made these tonight, and actually used some of the gingerbread spice in the muffin batter. I just inhaled one. Magnifique!!! Great job on creating the recipe, Chris!
Maureen | Orgasmicchef.com says
I know what you mean about the season being busy and falling into bed exhausted. No wonder the red candles are burning for you - at least they weren't burning at both ends. One of these muffins might be healthy food with all that's in them but they sure look like a treat to me!
I've had many strange voices in my dreams as well... I remember clearly the day of my final project in college, I went to bed at 4 in the morning and had my alarm set to 3 hours later, so naturally I was unable to wake up when I heard these voices trying to wake me up!!! strange. Loved your muffins and I think one will not be enough for me.
Hi Chris, I do have some really strange dreams sometimes, most of the time I cannot remember muchof the details. Would love to wake up to these muffins though, they look fabulous!
Morning glory muffins are one of my favorites, too! I love you seasonal twist---they'd be such a yummy way to start the day!
This is a much better way to start the day! No I just need to organize my freezer to have room for a stash of these. Or, I could just leave them out and have one (or two) a day!
Denise Browning@From Brazil To You says
Love the name... so proper for all the wonderful flavors that deliver a great, wholesome breakfast. You make delicious food, Chris, all year round. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. I will be following you on Instagram as well. You images are so delightful!
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
This is a PERFECT muffin to start the Xmas morning :-)) Looks absolutely yum, Chris.
Abbe @ This is How I Cook says
These sound like fabulous muffins! I have very weird dreams but never remember all of them, though they fascinate me. I think I'd top these with a red candle!
Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says
Chris, you are so funny. I am sure the fourth red candle would have been for declaring you Queen of the muffin kingdom. 🙂 I would welcome one of these anytime of the day.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Glorious muffins indeed, this would make a dream Christmas breakfast!
I love all your muffins, Chris, but this one combines two of my favorites --- there are so many good ingredients in this I think it would keep me powered all day 🙂
Charlotte Moore says
I love Morning Glory Muffins so I am sure these are delicious as well.
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
These sound perfect for Christmas morning - and so pretty too. I have been dreaming about muffins myself - and this may be the one to cure my craving. Gingerbread is a favorite! Love flash freezing everything!
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
I would gladly wake up early any morning for these muffins! Loving the addition of the gingerbread spices 🙂
Chris Scheuer says
Maybe I'll have to set one by my alarm clock Jennifer!
The do look DELICIOUS..The candles.n.ope never had that dream:)
Chris Scheuer says
Thanks Monique! Seriously, you don't want that dream! lol
Jo Anne T says
Oh.My! Need to make these tonight!!!! Thanks Chris!