Carrot Muffins, a Healthier Version

Makes 12

Sunset magazine calls these the miracle carrot muffin because they have very little fat and are extra moist and not as dense as most low fat carrot muffins. The is trick is heating the carrots and raisins in water, which softens them nicely before they are added to the flour mixture.
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter
1-1/4 cups shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 375°. Put sugar, butter, carrots, raisins, salt, spices, and 1 1/3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Heat over high heat, stirring occasionally, just until mixture comes to a boil.
Whisk flours, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Pour in warm carrot mixture. Stir to combine, but do not overmix.
Spoon mixture into greased muffin cups.
Bake until browned and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
Blend cream cheese with zest and serve with muffins.

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