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.
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
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.
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.
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.