Some of my favorite things; muffins, tea, espresso, rain

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It has been raining for over 24 hours, and before that it was snowing. I enjoy the rain, especially when it is a tad warmer and in today’s case that means a stifling 34 degrees! I even tried to go running before remembering that there are no sidewalks around my neighborhood and the local walking path is covered in at least two feet of snow, at least I tried to exercise!

Now usually during this kind of weather I cook a whole bunch, but I made a delicious Jambalaya last week that has lasted us nearly an entire weeks worth of dinners. Usually I save left overs for when I don’t want to cook but this meal was so good and I was so excited about how long it lasted that we just kept eating it night after night. But today with the rain I decided I had to make something and I have been eyeing the oat bran that has been in my pantry cupboard for what seems like forever and decided Bran Muffins where the way to go.

I don’t know what it is about bran muffins but I absolutely love them, I can’t help myself. Usually they are moist and feel slightly healthier than any other type of muffin. I haven’t made them in the past because most recipes seem like they try to make bran muffins too healthy. I don’t keep things like ground flaxseed or safflower oil around and I don’t believe I would have bought oat bran on a whim but someone gave it to me and I kept it. Once I found a reasonable recipe I got very excited and had to share.

I adapted the recipe below from a blogger who adapted it from someone else. Both links are to be found at the end of this post.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, extremely soft (mine wasn’t as soft as it could have been and it made it a little hard to mix up)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (increase to 1/3 if you would like a little sweeter)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used one self serve container of Chobani’s Honey Greek Yogurt that I had in the fridge, use whatever you think sounds good)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup wheat flour (I used wheat flour because that is what I have, use whatever flour is in your kitchen)
  • 1 cup oat bran (I have a generic Trader Joe’s brand which is as good as any)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional – I add cinnamon to everything)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled (optional, I added because I had some lonely looking carrots left in the bottom of my fridge)
  • 1/2 cup extremely chopped almonds, or nuts of any kind (optional, I added for extra fun)
  • Below is what my mix looked like before I put it in the muffin tin, so if it starts out looking weird have no fear, it will turn out!

IMG_0622Instructions: easy as eating pie, because easy as pie doesn’t make sense as pie isn’t that easy to make.

  • heat oven to 400 degrees
  • beat your sugar and butter
  • add the rest of the wet ingredients; egg, yogurt, molasses, vanilla – my mixture was really wet so don’t worry if it doesn’t appear to be quite right
  • combine your dry ingredients in a separate bowl (or just toss in the mixer like me)
  • I added nutmeg, cinnamon, carrots and almonds to my muffins but you can add whatever sounds appealing. Chocolate chips, dried fruit, walnuts, coconut or zucchini shavings all sound like they would make some good additions.
  • Once everything is all mixed up go ahead and fill your greased muffin tin. I found that these muffins don’t rise a whole lot after the first batch so fill liberally.
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • I ended up with 20 muffins, but my first batch was a tad short since I wasn’t sure how much the muffins would rise.

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Above you will see my short little muffins.I find that these are best enjoyed with your favorite beverage and a good read. The links for the original recipes are below. I am not sure how the other blogger made her muffins look so perfect, but it is the taste that matters right?

  • Recipe I adapted from: http://www.digthischick.net/2009/05/bran-muffins-chicken-names-etc.html
  • Original recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/02/a-meatover-and-a-muffin/

Enjoy!

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