Airport Blues and Carrot Muffins

Shoes off. Laptops out. Shouting to place liquids in a separate bag. Strangers stripping off clothes and racing to get the articles in gray plastic bins then standing in stocking feet like docile grade schoolers lined up to take their turn reading the eye chart. A curious circus of humanity and officiousness designed to keep bombs and box cutters and chemicals off planes. My shoes are about as thick as saltines but no matter, off they go same as the guy with the Timberlands ahead of me. I try not to roll my eyes. A family of four has snuck to the front of the line using their adorable six-year-old to forge the path, then fussing over her to avoid making eye contact with anyone around who they’ve budged. It’s OK. What’s another five minutes when you’re already 30 in. Such is flying these days, adding a half-day to any itinerary for the machinations of safety. Forcing everyone to get close to one another, share space, exchange a few words and maybe help each other out a bit. 

Worth it to see my college daughter for the weekend—to meet some of her friends, let her show me around and soak up all the precious minutes of her big new experience. Back home I'm making muffins for my bottomless high schooler and my odd looking, imperfectly domed specimens recall the hodgepodge of the security line. 

These muffins aren't too sweet and have brown butter, carrots and cinnamon for flavor and plain yogurt for moistness. If you slather them with cream cheese frosting you can call them a cupcake. No one will know because, really, isn't frosting the only difference between a muffin and a cupcake?

Carrot Muffins 

Adapted from Williams Sonoma

Makes about 16 small muffins

2 cups AP flour

2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (2-3 large)
2 eggs
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, browned*
1 teaspoon vanilla

* Put butter in heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bubble until it turns medium to dark brown (but be careful, it goes from dark brown to burnt quickly). remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes before using. 

Preheat oven to 425º

Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Add shredded carrots and coat with flour mixture, using your hands to lift and separate any clumps of carrots. 

Put sugar, eggs, yogurt, vanilla and cooled brown butter into a separate bowl and whisk vigorously. Add to dry mixture and use a spatula to gently combine. Don't overmix. It will be dry and you may even see streaks of flour. The carrots will absorb it. 

Scoop into paper muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.

Dangerously brown butter


patricia said…
Well I don't know about the muffins, because here in Mexico few bake anything at home. It's the ovens and the altitude.
But I do know good writing and this description of airport security made me feel right there watching your mind think of it all in story form. Really good writing!

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