Category Archives: Muffins

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

Hold on to your hats, folks, because this is the second semi-healthy thing in a row I’m posting!

Actually, these are pretty healthy (the Orange Olive Oil cake…not so much), relative to most of the baked goods I make.  The texture of these muffins are yummy – a little bit chewy, moist, substantial, but not heavy.  They’re also really versatile, so you can put in whatever add-ins you want.  I added walnuts, and made two versions – some with black raspberry jam and some without.  The muffins aren’t very sweet, so the versions with jam baked in had just the right amount of contrast.

Oatmeal, buttermilk, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste, but you couldn’t really tell, so I’d use regular vanilla extract in the future), salt, egg, cinnamon, and the best ingredient: mashed banana.  The original recipe called for oil, but via The Sweets Life, I discovered that you can substitute a mashed banana.  Since I had an excess of browning bananas, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try it out.  It worked out really well – you couldn’t taste the banana at all, and didn’t miss the fat either.  I would guess you could also use applesauce.

Add the buttermilk to the oats and let them soak for 15 minutes.  The oats soak up the buttermilk and it becomes a thick, soupy mixture.

Then add the banana, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.  This looks pretty gross, but that’s sometimes how it is with baking.  Gross, then delicious.  Then you add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Here is the point where you can add whatever mix-ins you want.  I used walnuts (I should have tossed them with a little flour first – they kind of sank in the muffins).  You could also use dried fruit, other nuts, or nothing at all.

I also had a moment of inspiration when I saw this jam in my counter.  It was a stocking stuffer from my mom this past Christmas, and it’s delicious.  It’s from a local place just south of the Pennsylvania border, and she always has some when I go home.

After I had scooped the batter into the muffin tins, I added half a teaspoon of jam to four of the muffins, just to see how it would turn out.  Then you bake them at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes till a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

What I love most about these muffins is how high and rounded they bake up – I filled the tins pretty full, and they didn’t overflow at all.  They are just lovely, sturdy little muffins.

They also taste wonderful – great for breakfast or a snack with a cup of tea.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

Adapted from AllRecipes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:
1 cup oats (not instant)
1 cup buttermilk (I used nonfat)*
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil OR one mashed, ripe banana
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup dried fruit (optional)
1/8 cup fruit jam (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together oatmeal and buttermilk. Let soak for 15 minutes.
  4. Add egg, brown sugar, oil/banana, and vanilla.  Stir to combine
  5. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to wet ingredients and stir just till combined.
  6. Add any mix-ins you desire (aim for about 1 cup total) – stir just till combined (don’t overmix).
  7. Divide batter evenly between the muffin tins.
  8. At this point, you can add 1/2 teaspoon jam to the center of each muffin, if desired.  Push the jam down a bit into the center of the batter, but don’t submerge it completely.
  9. Bake on middle rack for 16-18 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until muffins test done.
  10. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Store in airtight container for one to two days.

*If you don’t have buttermilk, use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar mixed with milk to make one cup.

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Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Sometimes, I’ll get an urge to make – specifically, bake – something. I usually cook suppers during the week, but I hold a special place in my heart for baking. There’s something about baking…maybe it’s just wanting to make something self-contained and snackable; I’m not sure. I had made chocolate chip cookies the week before, but I hadn’t baked anything new recently. Because I didn’t have a ton of time, I landed on muffins because they are relatively easy and quick. I was thinking about the Pioneer Woman Orange Mini Muffins with Brown Sugar Glaze (introduced to me by my friend Shawn – they’re seriously good), but since I don’t have a mini muffin tin, I decided against those. But the citrus got me thinking, and lemon poppy seed was it!

They were simple enough that they wouldn’t take a ton of time, but interesting enough that it satisfied my desire to bake something new. And they were definitely worthwhile. For the recipe, I turned to Dorie Greenspan’s book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (incidentally, also source of my favorite chocolate chip cookies). I had lemons, I had poppy seeds, I even had sour cream, but I was missing eggs. Garh.

After a quick trip to the grocery store, I gathered all my ingredients – pretty basic ingredients, sour cream, and of course, lemon and poppy seeds. By the way, I had never baked with sour cream before, and I was worried about the flavor coming through too strongly, but you really can’t taste the sour cream.

The first thing I did was zest the lemon, and rub it into the sugar. It smelled great – lemon-y and sweet – and the texture was great – kind of crumbly, a little like brown sugar, and the little bits of lemon zest mixed in was so pretty. To that I added the other dry ingredients.

Then I put melted butter, juice from the zested lemon, sour cream, two eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl. It looked a little unappetizing, but when I whisked it all together, it became a lovely, thick, creamy mixture.

Then I put the dry ingredients into the wet, added the poppy seeds, and mixed just till combined.

I split the batter evenly between 12 greased muffin tin cups, and they baked up nice and tall and golden.

Then, to bring out the lemon flavor even more, Dorie has a lemon glaze for the muffins. You’re supposed to mix lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar for it, but I didn’t want to cut up another lemon to juice, so I used a bit of water and lemon extract instead. I think lemon juice would be nicer, so I’ll probably use that next time.  I dipped the muffins into the glaze so that it dripped very prettily all down the sides (note to self…next time use parchment or something under the cooling rack. It created quite a mess!).

The resulting muffins were nice and tender, moist, a little crunchy from the poppy seeds, and had a nice lemon flavor – not too strong. I’ll definitely make these again, and they’d be great with coffee. I ended up eating them on my way to work for the next week, and while they were good, they are definitely best on the first day.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Slightly adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan (page 10)

Ingredients:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 lemon – zest and juice, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream (light or regular – I used light, and it turned out just as well. I imagine nonfat would work as well.)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (alternatively, you could use about 1/2 tablespoon lemon extract and make up the rest with water)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in center position.
  2. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin (I used baking spray).
  3. Melt the butter in a medium bowl and set aside to cool. I melted it in the microwave, but on the stove would work too.
  4. Meanwhile, put the sugar in a large bowl and zest the lemon over the sugar into the bowl. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers till it’s well mixed and the sugar is moist.  The texture should be a little bit like brown sugar – crumbly and a little bit damp.
  5. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. In the bowl with the melted, cooled butter, add the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and juice from the lemon. Whisk to combine – it will be nice and creamy.
  7. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry, and mix gently just till combined. It’s okay if there are some lumps.
  8. Add the poppy seeds and mix gently.
  9. Divide evenly between the 12 muffin cups – they were almost full for me; a little over 3/4 full.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Place on a cooling rack and cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes then transfer to the cooling rack.
  12. Meanwhile, for the glaze, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl and mix in about 1.5 tablespoons of the lemon juice (or water/lemon extract mixture) and stir.  It will be quite thick.
  13. Add in more lemon juice, a drop or two at a time, till it’s thin enough to drizzle, but not too runny.
  14. Dip the muffins into the glaze, or drizzle over the tops.
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