Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bran Muffins

We're all adults here, right?  We have "careers."  We do laundry regularly.  We don't understand kids today.  We say words like "401k."  And sometimes we just need some bran too, ok?  Admit it, sometimes you need bran.     

But we might as well eat it in a muffin.  It seems only fair.  And boy are these muffins hearty.  They're moist, they've got great texture, and topped with sliced almonds, they've got a slight crunch.  Mmmmm, adulthood.    

In the interest of full disclosure though, I don't say 401k very often.  And I do laundry slightly less than regularly.  Instead, I just keep buying new socks.  That's the same thing right?  

The point is, I've got a pile of laundry and no retirement savings but I have some... ahem... regularity in my life.  Be regular with me.  

Here's the recipe!

2 1/4 cups All-Bran Original cereal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp honey (or molasses)
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 3/4 cups plain yogurt**
slivered almonds for topping (optional)

**I used non-fat yogurt but the original recipe calls for whole milk yogurt.  I loved the muffins with the low fat substitution.  

1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400 degrees.  Spray muffin pans with non-stick spray and set aside.  

2. Process half of bran mixture in food processor until finely ground, about 1 minute.  Whisk flours, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.  Whisk egg and yolk in a medium bowl for about 30 seconds until well combined and light-colored.  Add sugar, molasses and vanilla and whisk another 30 seconds.  Add melted butter and whisk; add yogurt and whisk.  Stir in processed and unprocessed cereal and let the mixture sit about 5 minutes until evenly moistened.  

3.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened.  Do not over mix.  Using 1/3 measuring cup or ice cream scoop, divide batter among muffin cups.  Alternately, you can use a jumbo muffin pan, evenly diving batter amongst six muffin cups, to make 6 large muffins (pictured above).  Do not level or flatten muffin surfaces but gently press almonds to surface so they adhere.

4.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick test produces a few moist crumbs, about 16-20 minutes or 20-25 mins for jumbo tins.  (You may want to consider a slightly lower oven temp if using jumbo tins)  Cool muffins in pans 5 mins and transfer to a wire rack for 10 mins before serving.

5.  Serve with a generous layer of jam and enjoy!  

Note:  These muffins freeze well.  I individually wrapped each muffin in plastic wrap first and then tin foil. Then, I stored wrapped muffins in a freezer bag.  Mine kept well for at least 6 weeks (and likely can be kept longer).  To defrost, either pop them back in the tins and put them in oven or take them out of the freezer the night before to thaw.  If you're in a pinch, you can even microwave one for about 1 min or so also the texture will be slightly different after microwaving.  

Recipe adapted slightly from America's Test Kitchen

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