Apricot Oatmeal

Well, I’m a day late and a dollar short this week. I managed to get the muffins baked last night, but then my 15 month old woke up screaming, his sleep totally disrupted thanks to a rotten early-spring cold, and by the time I got him settled again it was late.

So!

I also cheated on this recipe and thus probably totally missed the point. Dried apricots are kind of pricey if you buy them at the grocery store, and I kept forgetting to go to the Bulk Barn for the tiny quantity I needed. Take my review with a grain of salt.

The recipe

Mix together in large bowl

1 1/4 cups rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup white sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Blend in small bowl

2/3 cup milk

1 4.5oz jar of apricot puree (Baby food. All the ones I could find had sugar added.)

1 egg

1/4 cup oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Add wet to dry

Fold in

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/3 cup raisins (I just used all raisins, although I did use golden raisins, which I have to say I prefer.)

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Makes – and I couldn’t make this stuff up – 13 and a half muffins.

The process

Super-easy because I cheated and didn’t chop a half-cup of apricots, ha ha. Although someone told me that putting a little oil or non-stick spray on your knife before chopping dried fruit will make the whole process a little faster.

Also, I completely forgot the milk and couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have batter so much as I had crumble. I threw the milk in at the last minute and it was fine.

The result

These are quite a pretty colour, thanks to the golden raisins and the apricot puree. The texture is really pleasant; it just has a good mouth-feel. So it’s disappointing that the actual taste is unremarkable. Like many of the recipes in this book, they are very bland. I think maybe palates just used to be less adventurous, and so some dried fruit plus a little vanilla was plenty.

I would try these again, but they’d need some seasoning help. If any of you decide to give them a try, please leave your changes or recommendations in the comments.

Next week

Carrot Nut (mmm…). You’ll need a cup of chopped walnuts and a cup of grated carrot OR a cup of peeled fresh cherries OR a cup of dried cherries.

Dorothy, with the variations! Holy smokes. For the record, I’ll be making carrot-walnut. I love carrot muffins.

 

 

Oatmeal Orange

My friend Lila of Sweet and Lovely Crafts modified last week’s Oatmeal recipe with some additional spices and a smidge less sugar. You can see her take on it here. I haven’t tried her version yet but it sounds fantastic. I know that Nicole from Cooking in the Boyhouse┬áhas been experimenting with vegan versions of some recipes here, too. Please, all of you feel free to share the recipes, tinker with them as you see fit, and post links in the comments to your results if you wish. If you’d like to put any of these recipes on your own blogs feel free; all I ask is that you link back to this blog and give credit to Dorothy!

OK.┬áThis week I roped Michael into helping with the muffins, and I learned that my husband is a darling man who will help bake in exchange for being allowed to lick the bowl afterwards. That’s fair.

The recipe

Combine in a small bowl and let sit until all liquid is absorbed

1 cup best-for-baking oats

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup boiling water

Cream together

1/2 cup margarine (regular readers will know I always use butter instead, because butter)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

Add

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

Stir in oats

Add

1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)

Sift together and add to mixture

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Makes 12 large muffins.

The process

The most complicated thing about this recipe was finding the last can of frozen orange juice concentrate in the very back of the freezer and mixing it up. Otherwise, this is a straightforward recipe with no complicated steps. Lots of simple measuring and probably a good one for doing with small children who love to ‘help’ in the kitchen.

The batter had a strange taste; kind of orange, a little, but otherwise a trifle bland. Not unpleasant, but nothing to write home about.

The result

They smelled quite nice while baking. These ones needed the full 20 minutes to bake all the way through, and for some reason mine got a little browner around the edges than I would normally like. (This may be a function of my oven, which irritates me more with each passing week. It heats unevenly and I’m not convinced the temperatures are accurate. Yes, I need an oven thermometer.)

The texture is surprisingly light; usually oatmeal muffins have a bit of heft to them but these just fall apart when you bite them. The citrus is more of an aftertaste than a strong note; adding some orange zest would be a nice touch, I think.

The sweetness is just right, which is a nice change – I have found that a lot of Dorothy’s recipes to date have been almost too sweet for my tastes. After one bite I started wishing for a cup of tea to accompany my snack.

I like last week’s plain Oatmeal better, but these are just fine, and with a few little tweaks could be an excellent breakfast muffin.

Next week

Plain whole wheat. You will need a cup of sour cream – everything else you’ll likely have on hand.