Morning Must-have: Bran Muffins

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My apologies for my lack of bloggage, but oh friends, has it ever been a heckuva week.

Really.

I was called in to substitute for my favorite teacher, and one day turned into three, then my son got sick, then I had about a million pre-planned events to attend.  Okay, maybe more like three, but I'm prone to exaggeration.  

To top it all off, last night I was missing my blog and decided to write up this post.  I worked diligently on my sarcastic witticisms for two hours, then decided to delete a few unnecessary comments (oh if you only knew how often I do this...trust me, my words are not always kosher).  Unfortunately, during this editing process I somehow managed to edit my entire commentary.

Yes, that's right friends, I deleted the post.

Boy was I ever frustrated.  I definitely slammed my fist on the table a good number of times.  It hurts.  Badly.  I may have broken something.  My fault, I suppose.  Technology can be fabulous but it can also irk me to no end.  And it certainly did last night.  

So that's my sob story.  I'm sure you are crying along with me.  Or laughing at me.  Whatever.

But that was yesterday and this is today.  A new day, my friends!

So, due to my incredible busyness, I haven't cooked much.  I know, I know--it's downright depressing. When I'm unable to pursue my favorite thing in life (cooking) I get into a horrid funk.  I fall into a depleted state of abandon...a back hole of loneliness, an abyss of despair.

Well, maybe that's a tad dramatic.

I just dislike not being in the kitchen.  It gets me irritable.  And I've been horribly irritable.  In my desire to revisit my beloved pasttime, I decided to make my most basic of necessities:  Muffins.

Yes, muffins.  Bran muffins, to be precise.


Now, please, don't get all "ew!" on me.  Bran muffins are quite enjoyable if given the chance, much like prunes.  My friends, these two tasty treats are not merely for the octogenarian.  They are for the children, the twenty-somethings, the SAHMs, the midlifers.  They are for all.  They unite and bring hope.  They bring comfort to the weary and hope to the hopeless.

Okay, maybe those are lofty praises.  But they do keep you moving.  We'll leave the explanation at that.
Let me share this perfect morning recipe with you.

But first, I need boast of another wonderful thing my husband did for me.

My dearest readers, my husband took this disgusting thing:




And turned it into this:


Can you even believe it?  I can. 
Why?
Because he's fabulous. 
And dedicated. 
And knows how much I adore his little cleaning endeavors,
expecially when they involve my kitchen gadgets.

He's so dedicated that his hands turn pruney from his efforts:


What a wonderful man.You should get yourself one.

Anyway, back to muffins.

This particular recipe is a variation of one I found on the side of this stuff:


If you've never used Bob's Red Mill brand, it's great for baking products.  However, I've never actually used this cereal in it's natural form, mostly in other baked goods.  I don't make any promises--I hear it's somewhat dismal by itself.  However, it makes a mean muffin.

So here we go.

Oh and one more thing, these muffins aren't overly sweet.  I don't like too much sugar in the morning.  So if you prefer the sweeter fare, you'll have to add more honey.  I suggest weaning yourself slowly, however- sugar is a nasty demon when used in abundance.  Just sayin'.

Bran Muffins

1 large egg
1/2 C honey (or molasses, or brown sugar, your choice!)
1/3 C butter or 2/3 C applesauce
1 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple flavoring
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 C 10-Grain Cereal (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1-1/4 C buttermilk (if you don't have it you can make your own!  See below.) 

Instructions:

Mix 10 Grain Cereal and milk; soak together for 15 minutes while preheating oven and assembling other ingredients.  Cream sugar, butter/applesauce, and egg together in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture, then add milk mixture. Stir only until mixed. Spoon into greased muffin cups. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Makes 12.

Here are my choice ingredients:


Now, as stated above you can make your own buttermilk.  
Since I didn't happen to have any, I was in this predicament.  
It's easy to make, no worries.  
Just use 1 tsp of either vinegar or lemon juice per 1 Cup milk.  
Mix together first, let sit a few minutes, and there you have it!  
Buttermilk in a flash.

I recently discovered this schtuff at the store:


Oh my, it's gooood.  It tastes like a milkshake, minus the fat or dairy.  
Almond milk doesn't taste like almonds, not does it have the flavor of soy.  
It's special in it's own way.
Like me.

Back to the recipe.  Let your buttermilk and cereal soak together for a bit.


Once the cereal is milk-logged, move on to mixing your wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  
Now this time around, I actually chose to change-up my sugar source a bit, 
mixing 1/4 C honey and 1/4 C of this stuff:


Sorghum is tasty.  It's the perfect blend of honey & molasses flavors. 
I rather enjoy it.

Next, add your moisture source (aka the butter).  Now, let me explain a little healthy baking tip.  In many baked goods (mainly muffins, pancakes, cookies) you can substitute a fruit puree for the fat.  However, if using a fruit blend, the ratio is 2:1.  So if the recipe calls for 1 C butter, you would substitute with 2 C fruit puree (like applesauce, or, in this case I chose to use apple butter, that's just how I roll).


In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients together until well-blended.


In still another bowl measure out and mix your dry ingredients.




Throw in a little of this, if you like.  
I like, so I do.


Now blend your milk and wet mixtures together, then add your dry and mix until just combined.
Don't overmix!  Unless you prefer horrendously dense muffins.
Please don't prefer this.  




Now for all you perceptive readers the below muffin pan is not the one my husband cleaned.  
I own two.  This is my newer one.  Because, my friends, two are better than one.
Line your pan with muffin cups.



Spray each with cooking spray 
I like to do this because often the batter will cling to the paper when done, 
thus sacrificing a good deal of muffin.

I don't partake in sacrificial muffins.
My muffins will not give their lives to martyrdom.
Unless being eaten by a ravenous maiden.
Or ma'am.
Or whatever.
Okay, I'm done.

Fill each cup 3/4 full.



Bake at 400 for 15-20 min.  
And out they come:


Lovely.  Fresh.  Enticing.

Perfect with a dollop of real butter or natural peanut butter.  
Or almond butter.
Or apple butter.

Butter was made for these babies.
And coffee.


Have a glorious morning.  

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

trying these on monday!!

Alli said...

Those look REALLy tasty!

I've actually learned a lot from this post - I didn't know about substituting fruit puree for butter (EXCELLENT idea for baking during fasting periods, as I hate margarine), nor had I ever thought to spray muffin liners with cooking spray to preserve more muffin at the end. Genius! Thanks, Abbie!

Kirsten's Cooking said...

mmmm, now I know what to do with the 10-grain cereal (I tried to like it, really) lurking in my refrig! Sorghum? I'm going to have to investigate further. I happen to love bran, and prunes!
And now, all of us are dying to know what un-kosher comments you felt you had to shield us from! In case you hadn't noticed, I like a little edge (it suggests real-ness):)

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