Whole Wheat

This is the last simple recipe for a while, looking ahead; some of the upcoming recipes have long ingredient lists or time-consuming prep. So enjoy this easy one! After this, it starts getting more complicated.

The recipe

Beat together

1 egg, well beaten

1 scant cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Add and mix in until blended

1 cup sour cream

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 scant tsp. baking soda

Dorothy neglected to note baking time or temperature. I went with 375F for 15 minutes and they were perfect. 

Makes nine muffins, for some reason. NINE. I find this weird.

The process

So easy. Easy like the classic Basic Muffins from week one. Chuck all ingredients into a small bowl, mix, done. No stand mixer or fiddling around required.

I used dark brown sugar because I forgot to buy light brown sugar on the weekend.

I also didn’t use quite a full cup of sour cream because someone had dipped into the container I bought. It was probably me. It was that kind of weekend.

Once all your ingredients are mixed, let the batter rest for a couple of minutes until air bubbles form. You’ll know it’s rested for long enough when the batter has a dry, foamy consistency.

I used 1/4 cup of batter per muffin, which again, made nine muffins. I’m guessing you could easily double or triple this recipe though.

The result

These muffins look more muffin-ish than any other batch I’ve made. They rose beautifully and have a very pleasing golden brown colour. They smell fantastic – faintly nutty – and overall yield a great result for minimal effort.

Texture-wise they are quite light; if you like a denser, heavier muffin these will not be for you. They are a touch bland, although you could easily fix that by adding spices of your choice, or fruit – I’m imagining these with double the vanilla and some blueberries, and getting pretty excited.

They are not too sweet, not too heavy – just a nice, simple whole wheat muffin that clearly would lend itself well to modifications. They take no time at all to put together and bake, and are a great addition to my go-to easy recipe repertoire.

Next week

Apricot Oatmeal. Ingredients to buy:

  • 4.5 oz jar apricot puree (Dorothy says “jar of apricot baby food”. I haven’t got a clue if one can buy a jar of plain pureed apricot baby food these days; guess I’ll find out).
  • 1/2 chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup raisins

 

Oatmeal

Holy smokes, after last week’s inedible Marmalade Muffin debacle I was pretty jumpy about even attempting to bake muffins again. (Did anyone actually attempt those grapefruit horrors? I’m curious).

Anyhoo, recipe # 27, “Oatmeal”, looked pretty safe. And I’m coming off a four-day weekend, so I felt brave enough to try baking these with all three of my kids helping out. This was the 15 month old’s first experience with helping mama bake; mostly he pointed at stuff and yelled, and tried to stick his fingers in the mixer while it was running. But he figured out pretty quickly that measuring spoons are for dumping into bowls and batter is for tasting, and I think he had fun.

Oatmeal

Mix together and let stand for 20 minutes

1 cup boiling water

1 cup oatmeal (Note: Not the quick-cooking stuff; the oats labelled ‘best for baking’.)

In large bowl, cream together

1 1/2 cups brown sugar (Note: Dorothy adds ‘or less’ here, so I used scant cups.)

1/2 cup butter

Beat well and then add to butter & sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Sift into bowl

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Mix well and add

3/4 cup dates, cut fine OR 1 cup raisins (Note: or about a half-cup of dried cranberries, which is what I did)

Now, gently stir in the oatmeal mixture.

Bake at 375F for 20 – 25 minutes.

The process

Easy-peasy. The last few recipes were rather more work than I’d like to see in muffins, especially the terrible marmalade and the truly wonderful lemon, both of which involved zesting citrus. Just the fact that I made these with three children under eight helping me tells you that these were a snap.

The batter tasted really good; like old-fashioned buttery oatmeal cookies. It was also the colour of vanilla caramels, which I took to be a positive sign because who doesn’t love vanilla caramels?

It made 12 good-sized muffins. Beware – these barely rose at all, so if you want your muffin cups full you’ll need to bring the batter level to at least 3/4.

The result

It’s been weeks since I made a muffin that made Michael follow me around talking about how good they were, but these did the trick. He says they are his favourite to date. They are nice; dense and sweet, with the cranberries giving a welcome tart note. You could certainly do with a cup of sugar or even less, especially if you used a sweeter dried fruit than cranberries.

We have a winner!

Next week – Oatmeal Orange

You’ll need orange juice and more raisins. Although I’m going to use cranberries again because a) I really, really like cranberry and orange ANYTHING and b) I bought a whole bunch of dried cranberries on sale once and I have bags and bags of the things in my pantry.

Honey Cornmeal

Today is the first day of March Break, so I haven’t baked these muffins yet – we will later this morning as a project to keep the kids amused for a half hour or so. In the meantime, here’s the recipe lest anyone else is home with kids today and needs something to quell the rising rebellion.

The recipe

Pour boiling water over

1/3 cup raisins (Note: I am going to use cranberries because I hate raisins so much)

Combine in medium bowl

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup buttermilk

Sift in large bowl

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

In small bowl beat together

1 egg

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup buttermilk

Add egg mixture to cornmeal mixture. Stir this into dry flour mixture. Drain cranberries well and stir into batter.

There is no temperature or bake time written on this recipe! Since most of the ones in the book so far seem to be 375F for 15 – 20 minutes, I’m going to try that and hope for the best.

Edited to add: 15 minutes at 375 made them too brown. I’d say maybe 350F for 15 minutes and then check them.

Health Food Muffins

So, I did not bake muffins this weekend, at all. I spent most of yesterday in a sleep / wake cycle, where every time I sat down I drifted off, and the thought of baking anything just made me depressed.

When I do bake these, I’ll post a review – meantime, here is the recipe:

The recipe

Mix together in large bowl

1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 cups granola

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

Blend in small bowl

1/3 cup oil

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup molasses

Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir just to moisten. Fill muffin cups and sprinkle tops with more granola.

Bake at 375F for 15 – 20 minutes.

Updated: 

I finally baked these a week late and was pleasantly surprised; they make a dense, chewy muffin that is almost like a granola bar, if a granola bar and a cake had come together to produce a delicious brood of muffin-babies.

Funny thing about these is that changing the type of granola would completely alter the taste and/or texture of the finished product.

I like them, as does the family.