Fall... how I love it! One of the best things about the changing seasons are steamy bowls of soup, beans and cornbread and my husband's favorite chicken dumplings! The AC has worked overtime this summer and I just didn't bake much. So, when a 48 degree morning comes along like it did today, I got in the kitchen and baked the best recipe I have for muffins! This one comes from Sarah Fennel at Broma Bakery. Try it soon and you will see what I'm talking about...
Best Bran Muffins
2 cups wheat bran (I used All-Bran)
1 cup, plus 1/2 cup dark raisins
1 cup, plus 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain low- or non-fat yogurt
a few swipes of fresh orange zest
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
*I added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for six to eight minutes, stirring a few times so it cooks evenly. Let cool. (I just used All-Bran Original cereal, it's the box you probably have seen in your Grandma's kitchen cabinet... the one you wouldn't eat when you were a kid but now CRAVE the taste! It's wheat bran, a single serving is 10 grams of fiber, 40% of your daily fiber requirement making these muffins a very good choice for breakfast or snack.)
While the bran is toasting, heat 1 cup of the raisins with 1/2 cup of the water. Simmer for ten minutes, or until the water is all absorbed. Puree the raisins in a food processor or blender until smooth.
In a large bowl, mix together the toasted bran, buttermilk or yogurt, 1 cup water, then mix in the raisin puree, orange zest, and brown sugar.
Stir in the oil, and eggs.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and sift directly into the wet ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are just combined, then mix in the remaining 1/2 cup raisins.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, making sure the batter is mounded slightly in each one. Because muffin tins can very in size, if your tins are larger, make fewer muffins. (I did use my jumbo muffin tins and a 1/2cup ice cream scoop, it made 10 big, yummy muffins.)
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins feel set in the center. (I baked them for the full 30 minutes since they were larger.)
As good as these are warm from the oven, they are even better a day later... moist and delicious!