Bran Muffins that Deliver

This recipe was given to us by Michele B.; it is her mother’s recipe. I asked her for the recipe because she has often spoken of how effective and popular these muffins are with both children and adults. Most importantly, the fact that they are very effective. When I received the recipe I quickly realized that these are the same bran muffins that I grew up with. They are the stuff that Church cookbooks are made of. I vividly remember the batter sitting in the fridge waiting to be baked off and given to the elderly neighbors whom my mom assumed were constipated. One attribute that Michele lauded was that this batter can sit in the fridge for weeks and the muffins can be baked as needed. Recently, I was looking through my grandmother’s recipes and I found this same bran muffin recipe, sure enough, scratched at the bottom in her handwriting was “can sit in fridge for up to 4 weeks”.

Unfortunately, we will not have the opportunity to test every recipe that our friends share with us. However, I simply had to make some changes to the ingredients before I posted it, specifically the fat, cereals and flour . Firstly, the recipe calls for Crisco and I do not  like the idea of that stuff, so, I used canola oil and added an extra egg yolk for fat and moisture. Secondly, I remember my mom always saying that the cereals required for the muffins were hard to come by. After five minutes on the Internet, I discovered that the Nabisco Bran buds in the original recipe have been off the market for years.  I looked around and found two bran cereals that both have 14 g fiber per 30 g serving; regular cereals have about 5 g per 30 g. Frankly, I am not sure why it needs two different cereals with similar ingredients, but, I stuck with the recipe here. In terms of the flour, whenever possible, I substitute half of the white flour with whole wheat flour, for health purposes and because I like the taste and texture.  I am sure the original recipe was delicious, however, I think my version will stand the test of time in my family.   Technically, I could have posted these with a photo, since I made them. But, they were so good that they all walked off or got eaten at a brunch I hosted the morning I made them. I can vouch for the fact that they had a nice domed top, as well-made muffins should.

With summer approaching and a diet sure to be high in corn dogs and ice cream, I will have this batter on hand all summer. It will sure beat all the prunes I made Autumn eat last summer to “fix her problem”.

Do-Ahead Strategies:

You can make the muffin batter days or weeks before you intend to bake them.

Servings: Batter makes about 18-20 muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup Kellogg’s Brand Buds (I purchased these at Eagan Byerly’s)

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup canola oil

1 1/4 cup white sugar

2 beaten eggs

1 beaten egg yolk

2 cups buttermilk

1 1/4 cup white flour

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

2 cups General Mills Fiber One Bran Cereal

the following are my additions to original recipe: 

1 t orange zest

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2-3/4 cup dried cranberries (you could substitute any dried fruit)

Directions:

1. When you plan on baking them, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Prepare 18-20 muffin cups with paper or oil.

3. In the large bowl that you plan on mixing and storing the muffin batter in, pour 1 cup boiling water over the Bran Buds.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the canola oil and white sugar. Add the eggs, orange zest and buttermilk and beat for a few minutes. Pour that wet mixture over the Bran Buds and water.

5. In the medium mixing bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda and salt. Pour this dry mixture into the large mixing bowl.

6. Gently fold together the three groups of ingredients. Before they are completely incorporated, fold in the walnuts and dried fruit.

5. Fill the muffin compartments about 75% full. Bake for 20-30 minutes. They are very moist and require a longer bake than regular muffins.

Variations:

1. Dried cherries and almond slivers would be a great combination.

2. You could substitute quinoa or teff flour for the whole wheat flour.

3. Add some grated carrot (that has been squeezed in a towel to remove moisture) and some toasted walnut or almonds; kind of carrot cake like.

3. The zest and juice of an orange and about 1/4 cup of poppy seeds is refreshing. Kids who refuse nuts in the their baked goods often can not detect poppy seeds (I know from experience).

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