In the midst of my crazy meal prep madness getting ready for Mia’s arrival, I had bought a big carton of buttermilk to use in an Ina Garten chicken recipe, as well as a batch of Bran Muffins and still had a good amount leftover. I wanted to add another type of freezer-friendly breakfast food to my Babygeddon stash, and saw this recipe that also uses buttermilk on Smitten Kitchen. They are SO good!
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (I used Granny Smith)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.
Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For a muffin that uses wheat flour instead of all-purpose, this sure was moist! It had more of a cake-like texture than I was expecting it to have. I went easy on the sugar for the crunchy top (probably only 1 TBSP brown sugar instead of the 1/4 cup the recipe calls for).
As with all of my food prep as of late, being able to freeze what we weren’t going to eat immediately was important. These freeze really well, though I would skip adding the brown sugar on top since the crunchy top texture goes away once you microwave it. YUM!
In the weeks leading up to what I fondly called Babygeddon, I went on a bit of a crazy cooking and baking spree getting meals prepped and into our freezer. I had purchased too large a carton of buttermilk when I made Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Chicken, and wanted to use it in some healthy muffins. I turned to Smitten Kitchen and her recipe for Blue Sky Bran Muffins caught my eye. I don’t mind bakery bran muffins, but they’re always LOADED with tons of added sugar – so much so that I actually always find them to be really sticky and gross from all the honey, juice, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and of course sugar in the actual batter too. I was looking for a recipe that wasn’t going to give me cardboard muffins, but also not have so much sugar that I might as well have eaten a donut for breakfast. This seemed like a great compromise, tasting much more like real breakfast than a treat. Here’s the recipe!
1 1/3 cups (315 ml) buttermilk (you can also use sour cream or yogurt thinned with a little milk)
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80 ml) oil (such as vegetable, safflower, sunflower or olive oil)
1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract, a little citrus zest (optional flavorings to add)
3/4 to 1 cup chopped mixed fruit (just about anything but citrus or pineapple will work, they say; I used frozen mixed berries for this batch here)
Heat oven to 425 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
Whisk buttermilk, egg, oil, brown sugar and any vanilla or citrus zest you’d like to use in a small bowl.
Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined and still a bit rough.
Spoon two 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 2 teaspoons fruit to each (dividing it evenly) and sprinkling the fruit with one of the teaspoons of granulated sugar.
Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining teaspoon of granulated sugar.
Bake muffins for a total of 16 to 18 minutes, rotating pan once midway through baking time for even browning, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Do not overbake. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from tin.
Do ahead: Muffins keep for 3 days at room temperature, longer in the freezer.
NOTE: This recipe makes about 12 standard size muffins (use a cupcake tin, not a jumbo muffin tin).
These, like any baked good, are best eaten the day-of, but they also freeze well. The top won’t have that semi-crunchy texture to it, but you can pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds and it is still as moist on the inside as the day it came out! These definitely made my list of go-to muffin recipes, and I’m excited to try it with some other fruit!
As mentioned before in a past post, my dad is diabetic. I inherited lots of things from him – my love for Star Wars, my sarcasm, and my affection for pumpkin and all desserts. He’s my loyal taste-tester of everything that comes out of my kitchen, but he’s limited to only a sliver whenever I make anything sweet. For his birthday, he asked for a diabetes-friendly treat that he couldn’t just buy at our neighborhood Ralphs (i.e., NSA pumpkin or apple pie). However, he does love him some pumpkin, so I decided to make some diabetes-friendly pumpkin muffins.
The recipe I used from Gourmet Magazine called for 1 1/4 cups of sugar, so I just replaced one cup of sugar with 30 (yes, 30) packets of Splenda. I’ve never baked with Splenda before, so I didn’t want to commit to buying a large baker’s box not knowing how using it would turn out. Admittedly, I had been pocketing a few extra packets from numerous Starbucks runs and accumulating a stash that I could use towards this recipe. I can’t help myself. I’m Asian.
They turned out a bit on the dough-y side, since using Splenda changes the chemistry of the dough when baking. But it could also be because I eat cupcakes more often than muffins, so I’m used to more of a cake-y texture. My dad liked them, and they didn’t have the strong fake-sugar aftertaste that I was worried they would have.