In the week that's passed, since I was last here with a recipe, I've had the stomach flu come and go. Ben has broken a finger, resulting in a three-hour wait at the hospital with two rather impatient boys. We've embarked on watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, I finished reading a great book and started another. The kids have played hockey five times, the dog has been walked no less than twelve and I managed to clean my freezer and all my kitchen cupboards. I also made bran muffins.
I can't remember the last time I made a plain bran muffin. Not blueberry bran, or banana bran, just plain old bran. It's been years I think. But I was drawn to the simplicity of these, as I was just dipping my toes back into the food waters, post sickness, and I didn't want anything too complicated on my plate. They were assembled quickly, and easily, and baked to a perfect golden brown, with the slightest hint of crisp on the tops and sides.
The boys, all three of them, loved these muffins. Rob couldn't quite believe they were plain bran ("there must be something else in them"), and Jackson came home from school and declared "Those muffins were SO good".
And see the little glass jar above? This is my answer to the litter-less lunch policy at school. I baked the muffins right in the jar (I didn't invent this concept, it's been done many times before), popped a lid on them and put them in the lunchbox. Eco-friendly, easy and already packaged. I wouldn't likely do this for younger kids, but I think my almost-11 year old can handle a small glass vessel in his lunch container.
Although now that he's down some fingers, and in reality his whole right hand, this may not work for him this week.
Anything-But-Boring Bran Muffins, adapted from Real Simple
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a muffin tine with paper liners; set aside. Combine brown sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl; using a hand-held mixer beat together until sugar has dissolved. Add egg; beat 1 minute or until well blended. Beat in egg white until well blended. Add buttermilk, applesauce, molasses, and vanilla extract; beat on low speed until well blended.
Combine flour, wheat bran, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.