This is one of those "never-fail" muffin recipes that everyone loves. They are delicious; but also loaded with healthy ingredients. The candied pecan topping is the crowning glory!
Combine pecans, sunflower seeds, honey and olive oil on the prepared sheet pan. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 4 minutes. Stir to redistribute and bake another 2-3 minutes or until pecans are light golden brown. Remove from oven, spread apart and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir well.
Add the carrots and coconut, apples and dried cranberries. Stir and then run your hands through the mixture, breaking up any small clumps of brown sugar, coconut or cranberries that remain.
Divide the batter among the cups of the prepared pans, filling almost to the top (about ⅞ full).
Bake the muffins for 25 to 28 minutes, until they're nicely domed and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from pans and cool on a rack.
Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap or a zippered storage bag, and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Freeze for longer storage.
See Café Tips above for detailed instructions and additional tips.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour.