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 has 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. This 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.

 

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.