blueberry bran muffins

January 6, 2011 § 7 Comments

After a full month of copious overeating, I’ve finally recovered enough to make it back into the kitchen. I never thought I would be tired of eating chocolate, but apparently that day has come. I arrived back home from holiday travels to an empty cupboard and went on a rampant grocery store trip, returning triumphantly with piles of brightly coloured vegetables and an assortment of whole grains. Which I bought in bulk. I feel very virtuous.

So my first steps back into baking were gentle: I made bran muffins. How unlike me! And they were delicious – moist, bran-ny, and didn’t leave me in a food coma. The original recipe says that they have no sugar, but since they have both honey and molasses in them I’m not quite prepared to make that claim. As baked goods go though, these are probably the healthiest things I’ve made (although that’s not a particularly high bar), and perfect for a winter breakfast.

I made my muffins fairly small so I ended up with leftover batter. Being way too impatient to wait for the first batch to bake, I dumped it in a loaf pan and made blueberry bran squares. These are not very sturdy, but just as tasty. I also made a few muffins without blueberries, so that I could compare the outcome – I’m such a scientist! My conclusion was that both were great, and this recipe is worth making. I know the bran ingredients might seem a bit obscure, but once you find them they’re incredibly cheap. I paid 54 cents! It’s a good way to start the new year. Especially if you eat two.


Blueberry Bran Muffins – Adapted from Farmgirl Fare
I strongly recommend weighing your dry ingredients for this, because the brans can pack dramatically different amounts into cups, and my volumes didn’t match up very closely with the recipe.

Yield: 12 gigantic muffins, or 12 small ones and 8 bars.

    2 cups (3oz / 86g) wheat bran
    1 cup (5oz / 141g) oat bran
    1 cup (6oz / 170g) whole wheat flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    2/3 cup (5oz / 156g) milk
    2/3 cup (5½ oz / 156g) yogurt
    1/3 cup (2¼ oz / 65g) canola oil
    1/3 cup (3¾ oz / 108g) sweet molasses or cane syrup
    1/3 cup (3¾ oz / 108g) honey
    1 teaspoon (6g) vanilla extract (optional, I didn’t use this)
    1 1/2 cups blueberries (or substitute cranberries, or 1 cup raisins, or leave them out entirely)

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine wheat bran, oat bran, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, yogurt, canola oil, molasses, and honey (and optional vanilla) and mix well.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until combined. Fold in blueberries with as few strokes as possible.

Generously fill muffin cups with batter. I had a lot of batter left over, so rather than make giant muffins I put it in a greased loaf pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes for small muffins and thin loaf, or 20 to 25 minutes for large muffins. Cool muffins in pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then carefully remove from pan and serve warm, or let cool on a wire rack. Possible eating options: butter, honey, and peanut butter are all delicious. These are also reported to freeze well, though I haven’t tried it.


lemon-raspberry muffins

July 30, 2009 § 2 Comments

Today was swelteringly hot and overwhelmingly muggy. Obviously, then, the sensible thing to do was to go home and bake not one but TWO separate recipes, leaving the oven at 375 degrees for the better part of three hours. Luckily I am a very sensible young lady.

At any rate, my friends are moving this weekend, and I’m out of town so I can’t help. Instead I’m contributing snacks! Probably better that way anyhow, I have little to no arm strength so I’m pretty useless with the boxes.

I’ll stick with the first recipe for now, one I’ve tried before and already love. The other (blondies!) I’ve never tried, and they’re still in the oven, so I’ll report back later. Tasting the batter has given me pretty high expectations though!

So, at hand we have raspberry-topped lemon muffins, by way of Smitten Kitchen, by way of Epicurious. These muffins are honestly more like little cakes, sweet and light, but because I don’t frost them I feel entitled to call them muffins anyhow. And eat them for breakfast.

The pictures are a little iffy, because I forgot to borrow Sangyu’s camera and had to use my tiny one. But I think they get the point across.

It’s very warm in my apartment now, and it’s making me sleepy, so I’ll stop here. Recipe below!

Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins – Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 18 muffins

  • 1 1/8 cups sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel (from two large lemons)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 half-pint containers fresh raspberries, divided

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Mash 1/8 cup sugar and lemon peel in small bowl until sugar is slightly moist. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg. Beat in buttermilk, then vanilla and lemon sugar. Beat in flour mixture. Set aside 18 raspberries, and gently fold the rest into the batter.

Divide batter among muffin cups. Top each muffin with a raspberry. Bake muffins until lightly browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, around 20-25 minutes.

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