Adventures In Baking

(in a perpetually messy kitchen)

Posts tagged bran

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Peanut Butter Bran Muffins

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I wasn’t sure how things were going to go with these.  I got brave and decided to swap out some of the flour for wheat germ (as my current obsession dictates) and I added some vanilla, and what I ended up with, to my delight, was not only a light airy delicious peanut butter muffin that’s healthy, but something the kids liked too! The ultimate trifecta: delicious, healthy, and kid-approved.

The only thing that went wrong was that the camera was jimmy-jammed for the first part of the process and I ended up with some stages of the baking documented in a blur. I did what I could to sharpen things up but a blur is a blur is a blur and it stymied me until I put down the whisk and simply refused to move forward until it was fixed. From then on, things were much clearer. I’ll have to look for the metaphor in that one.

Oh and the other fascinating thing about this recipe is the description that accompanied it:

PEANUT BUTTER BRAN MUFFINS This recipe came from an estate sale. I obtained it when I purchased the family collection from the Hartford Estate in Mesquite Texas in 1991.

Intriguing. No?

All right, time for some blurry photos. I started with 2/3 cup of whole wheat white flour, 1/3 cup of wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Blurry!

blurry dry ingredients

I whisked, but I don’t think a blurry shot of it is going to be particularly helpful, and it will shame me.

In another bowl I combined a beaten with milk and oil, which is when things started to come into focus at last.

egg oil and milk

I added the bran, peanut butter, and honey, and threw in a half teaspoon of vanilla.

added bran, peanut butter, honey

I stirred well, then (in a step actually missing from the directions, but overwhelmingly obvious), I poured that into the flour bowl and mixed just until incorporated, then let it sit for 5 minutes, as instructed.

batter, mixed

I scooped the batter into muffins cups, and popped them into the oven without snapping a picture, because I forgot. Sorry.

I started checking them 15 minutes in, and they were done at 18. They smelled great.

muffins in tin

After about five minutes in the pan, they were moved to a wire rack to finish cooling.

muffins on rack

Juliet came by, drawn in by the smell. “Do those have peanut butter in them?” I chose not to mention the wheat germ or the bran, and said yes. “Can I have one?”

Knowing her history, I cut her a small piece of one, expecting (at best) that she’d at least pretend it was palatable. Instead she asked for the rest of the muffin, and Nathaniel came by and gobbled one up, and then I tried one, and we were all very, very happy. (Dave was busy elsewhere or he would have joined the peanut butter party.)

The next day, when I took them to the windowsill to get some better shots of them, Juliet asked to pose with them. She did a great job, too, reflecting her newfound love of something that’s actually good for her.

muffins

Juliet with muffins

muffins

Woohoo! A gorgeous girl with delicious muffins. And behind her, the lush greenery supplied by a weekend full of non-stop rain. Worth it, I suppose. And so are the muffins. Light, airy, peanut buttery, and full of good healthy ingredients. A mere 4 P+ on Weight Watchers, which is amazing because most peanut butter muffins come in a lot higher. But most of all, these taste fantastic.

PEANUT BUTTER BRAN MUFFINS RECIPE (original)

My version of Peanut Butter Bran Muffins (adapted from Group Recipes)

(serves 12)

ingredients:

2/3 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup (scant) brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup 1% milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup Skippy Natural Creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees, which you will reduce later, and grease or line 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

In another bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and oil. Then add the bran, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla, and stir well.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir just until combined, then let stand for five minutes.

Once five minutes have passed, scoop the batter into muffin cups, dividing as evenly as possible. Put into the oven and reduce temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean or with crumbs. 

Give them five minutes in the pan, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Feed to children. Eat some yourself.

Filed under peanut butter bran muffins peanut butter muffins bran wheat bran wheat germ whole wheat white flour healthy breakfast low fat

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Honey Pumpkin Bran Muffins

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I still had the white balance settings wrong for this entire batch of photos and it’s annoying me because these muffins were really delicious and you can’t even see their true beauty. Trust me, they looked lovely.

I found these in the bottom depths of one of my Pinterest boards. Sometimes I just load the whole thing and scroll down that seemingly endless page to the bottom just to see what I’ve pinned and forgotten about. There are gems hiding in there and this recipe proves it.

I think part of the light texture of these muffins comes from the fact that the mixing is all done by whisk. Bran and pumpkin aren’t the lightest of ingredients, but these muffins were anything but heavy, so it has to be mixing method. And the whole thing was a one-bowl recipe, perfect for a busy weeknight.

I started by whisking together butter (only 1/4 cup), honey, and brown sugar (I used coconut palm, and put in slightly less than the 1/2 cup suggested).

honey sugar butter

I added the egg, whisked that in, then put in the pumpkin.

added pumpkin

Next was the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. I was a little concerned that the recipe didn’t call for salt, but I trusted it. (Good choice.)

with spices

It all whisked together very nicely.

whisked

In went the wheat bran.

wheat bran

I added the flour (whole wheat white) and milk, and whisked. I was sure I’d have to get out the spatula, but I soon saw there was no need for it.

batter, whisked

Of course I did have to shake out the whisk a couple of times, and then once I was done, I somehow knocked it out of the bowl and onto the floor. Little bits of batter scattered.

whisk on floor with batter bits

I cleaned it up, as it was a pretty minor spill in my world, and got back into gear. I scooped the batter into muffin cups, piling it high. I sprinkled a little turbinado sugar on top.

batter in cups

These muffins get baked at a pretty low temperature, so they took over 25 minutes to bake all the way through. They smelled wonderful when they came out of the oven, warm and spicy. I let them sit in the pan for 5 more minutes.

muffins in tin, baked

I let them finish cooling on the rack.

muffins on rack

muffins on rack

When they were still warm, they stuck to the papers a bit, but not much, and by morning, they didn’t stick at all. And they were delightful. Light and fluffy, rich in flavor, warmed by the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The sugar on top was a good idea, gave them a tiny little extra bite of sweetness.

(And for the Weight Watchers crowd, they come in at 4 P+.)

HONEY PUMPKIN BRAN MUFFINS RECIPE (original)

My version of Honey Pumpkin Bran Muffins, adapted from Sugar Plum Blog)

(serves 12)

ingredients:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (scant) packed brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 heaping teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
3/4 cup 1% milk
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (about 2 teaspoons)

directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and line or spray a muffin pan. You’ll reduce the oven temperature when the muffins go in.

In a large bowl — the only bowl you’ll need — whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and honey until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the egg, pumpkin, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and spices until well mixed. Finally, stir in the bra, flour, and milk until just combined.

Scoop the batter into 12 muffin cups, and sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until they look puffy and brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack.

These lasted a good 3 days for me in an airtight container. They are perfect breakfast muffins! Enjoy.

Filed under honey pumpkin bran muffins muffins bran honey pumpkin healthy low fat breakfast snack

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Carrot Bran Muffins

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These muffins. These muffins! The fact that they are so healthy and good for you makes no sense with how delicious they taste. And I took a risk with these, changing the recipe mid-process, on a whim. A crazy, carrot- bran whim! I never knew there was such a thing.

Once the carrots were grated, the rest was a breeze. Grating carrots sure is messy, though.

grated carrots

There were little pieces of carrot everywhere.

Once that was done, I got the dry ingredients together: whole wheat white flour, wheat bran, brown sugar, cinnamon (I used two teaspoons), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I threw in a little nutmeg too, maybe about a quarter teaspoon or so. I whisked

dry ingredients

dry ingredients, whisked

Then, as is traditional in muffin-making, I used a separate bowl for the liquid ingredients. Eggs, buttermilk, yogurt, molasses, and canola oil. The recipe called for half a cup of canola oil but I decided that a quarter cup was as much as I was willing to put in. So after I’d added in the quarter cup of Greek yogurt specified, I threw some more in to make up for the missing oil. It was close to a quarter cup, but not a full one. The formula for swapping out oil is not as straightforward as butter, so I had to wing it a little.

liquid ingredients

That looked pretty revolting until I whisked it all together.

liquid ingredients, whisked

I poured that into the flour mixture. (By the way, I read in some article about recipes that you’re not supposed to call it “the flour mixture” just because its dominant ingredient is flour. You’re supposed to call it “the dry ingredients”. Blah blah. I’ll call it what I like. I much prefer George Carlin’s irritation with the term “pre-heating”, which I have stopped using because he was hilariously correct.)

pouring liquid into dry

Once those were well incorporated (but not overmixed! oh no!) I folded in the carrots.

carrots folded into batter

I scooped the batter into muffins cups and sprinkled just a bit of turbinado sugar on top, because it’s sparkly and tastes good.

batter in tins with sugar

While they were in the oven, I wandered into the playroom and found this interesting Lego creation. Nathaniel says it’s a garbage tower. I think. It lives in outer space.

tall Lego thing

I baked for about 20 minutes. I think. It has been days since I made these now so I don’t remember, but it was in the 20-25 minutes range. They looked and smelled great, emerging from the oven with nice big puffy tops. The muffin cups were a gift from my friend Jana, and they made the muffins look even nicer.

muffins on rack

muffin out of paper

And they looked even prettier by the window.

muffins by window

Best of all, they taste fantastic. Texture is ideal, moist and as fluffy as a muffin can be that’s full of bran and carrots. Flavors are strong, spiced and sweet. You feel better for having eaten one, I swear. (Sometimes you feel better for having eaten two.)

The next time I made them I threw in some pumpkin pie spice, which added a nice punch to the flavor.

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CARROT BRAN MUFFINS RECIPE (original)

My version of Carrot Bran Muffins (adapted from Ingredients, Inc.)

ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup (scant) packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/2 cup (scant) nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling


directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. You’ll reduce the temperature later when you put the muffins in. Prepare a 12-muffin pan with spray or liners.

Combine the flour, wheat bran, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, yogurt, oil, and molasses.

Add the second bowl to the first and mix just enough to incorporate. Fold in the carrots.

Spoon batter into muffin cups and sprinkle a little turbinado sugar on top of each one.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for 5, then remove.

Eat as many as you like. They’re good for you!

Filed under carrot bran muffins muffins breakfast healthy low fat carrot bran cinnamon Greek yogurt

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Peanut Butter Bran Muffins

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I never would have thought to mix peanut butter and bran, but I am in love with these muffins. I also love that they come via a blog called The Teenage Taste, written by a junior in high school. It’s a simple recipe, not particularly low in WW points (coming in at 5 because of the peanut butter) but the ingredients are healthy and these muffins are worth it.

They were easy enough to make, requiring nothing I didn’t already have around.

ingredients assembled

All of that combines to create a very satisfying muffin bursting with peanut butter flavor and hearty bran. I was anxious to get started, so I measured out the whole wheat white flour and then added a cup of wheat bran.

adding wheat bran to flour

Instead of using white sugar, I used organic cane sugar.

adding sugar

Last to go in was the baking powder. I whisked it all together.

dry ingredients, whisked

I prepped the peanut butter. I wanted to use more than half a cup out of sheer peanut butter love, but I restrained myself.

peanut butter

I scraped that into a bowl and added agave, the egg, and milk.

adding milk

wet ingredients, mixed

It took a while to get the peanut butter properly blended but at least it smelled good while I was doing it. (I could eat peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon and never get tired of it. I’d get thirsty, but I wouldn’t run out of peanut butter enthusiasm. Ever.)

I poured the pb mixture into the flour mixture. It looked a little less appetizing as I did it, but I had peanut butter faith.

pouring

And it mixed together nicely, which was reassuring.

batter

Once I saw the batter in the muffin pan, I decided they could use a little something extra. I put a tiny cluster of mini chocolate chips on the top of each, about 5 or 6 at most.

batter in cups with chips

They baked for about 15 minutes, maybe a bit more. The muffins looked bumpy (in a bran muffin way) and smelled great.

The chips look nice, but they do have a habit of falling off in transport. That said, these muffins are just fantastic without them.

pouring

I’m in love with these. I don’t really see any way to lighten them up, so I’ll just appreciate the health benefits and the awesome flavor and swallow the extra points, in more ways than one.

PEANUT BUTTER BRAN MUFFINS RECIPE

Filed under peanut butter bran muffins muffins bran peanut butter bran muffins breakfast healthy

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Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Chips
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I am still a little surprised at the deliciousness of these. I had some pumpkin to use up, I bought some wheat bran I wanted to try out, and I had the urge to prepare something healthy, and I think I hit the jackpot with this recipe, which is pretty good for you — the chocolate chips are MINI, to MINImize the unhealthy aspects of them — and tastes just wonderful, with a soft & fluffy texture.
The first step was interesting: I combined the wheat bran and the buttermilk, and stirred until it started to look like something a cat would puke up, then let it sit for ten minutes. (No, the recipe didn’t say it would look like cat vomit, nor was I ever inclined to let cat vomit sit for ten minutes, back when I had a cat and she vomited.)

I also melted the butter, so it would cool in time for use. While the bran/buttermilk was sitting and the butter was cooling, I got the dry ingredients together. I used whole wheat white instead of straight whole wheat, and added baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. I doubled the cinnamon (and then some), and used a little more ginger than suggested. I try not to improvise when it comes to cloves, which can be overpowering if you’re not careful.

At that point the required ten minutes had passed, and I retrieved the cat vomit mixture to add in the rest of the ingredients. I hit a snag immediately: I thought I had enough pumpkin left for a whole cup of it, but I didn’t. Our grocery store had already closed. What to do? I topped up the measuring cup with just enough applesauce to get the measurement right, and hoped for the best. Then I added in the egg, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and melted butter. (I left out the raisins, as I find them unpleasant in baked goods.)

It was looking a little icky, but I knew that would change, especially after I added the mini chocolate chips.

Action shot! Plus bonus robot bottle next to it. Also, the other crap I have on my counter on a busy Monday night. Oops.
I whisked it all together.

And then added the dry ingredients, being careful to mix just until incorporated, and not a moment afterward.

I started with the mini muffins, and I admit things looked a little rustic. Maybe even lumpy. Rustic is nicer, though.

And when they were out of the oven, they still looked rustic, but smelled fantastic.

I managed to get 9 full-sized muffins from the rest of the batter, and popped those into the oven. Oh, and I did my usual muffin trick on both sizes, preheating the oven to 25 degrees higher than the recipe says, then lowering it right after the muffins go in. I also didn’t need as much baking time as the recipe suggested, just a few minutes shy for each.
Both sizes turned out great. Really delicious, soft with a nice crumb, not dense at all, with the mini chips providing just the right sweetness without overdoing it. A new staple for sure. (Also, it turns out they are my boss’ favorite. Funny!)

MINI PUMPKIN BRAN MUFFINS WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS RECIPE (original)
My version of Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Chips (adapted from All Day I Dream About Food)
ingredients:1 1/4 cups reduced fat buttermilk 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran1 cup canned pumpkin 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 1/2 cup packed brown sugar1 large egg4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled2 tbsp molasses1 tsp vanilla extract2 cups whole wheat white flour2 tsp baking powder1 tsp baking soda2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon1/2 - 1 tsp ground ginger1/4 tsp ground cloves1/2 tsp salt
directions:Preheat the oven to 400F and generously grease 24 mini-muffin tins and 6 regular muffin tins. Or use just the 12 larger muffin tins.
In a large bowl, stir buttermilk and bran together and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Whisk in pumpkin, chocolate chips, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, molasses and vanilla.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Gently fold flour mixture into the bran mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined.
Spoon batter into prepared tins, to just the top of each tin. Put the tray with the full size into the oven and reduce temperature to 375, then bake until tops are set and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes. Once done, bake the mini-muffins at 375 for 10 -15 minutes.
Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool another 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 24 mini muffins plus 6 regular muffins, or 12 regular muffins.

Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Chips

jump to recipe

I am still a little surprised at the deliciousness of these. I had some pumpkin to use up, I bought some wheat bran I wanted to try out, and I had the urge to prepare something healthy, and I think I hit the jackpot with this recipe, which is pretty good for you — the chocolate chips are MINI, to MINImize the unhealthy aspects of them — and tastes just wonderful, with a soft & fluffy texture.

The first step was interesting: I combined the wheat bran and the buttermilk, and stirred until it started to look like something a cat would puke up, then let it sit for ten minutes. (No, the recipe didn’t say it would look like cat vomit, nor was I ever inclined to let cat vomit sit for ten minutes, back when I had a cat and she vomited.)

wheat bran and buttermilk

I also melted the butter, so it would cool in time for use. While the bran/buttermilk was sitting and the butter was cooling, I got the dry ingredients together. I used whole wheat white instead of straight whole wheat, and added baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. I doubled the cinnamon (and then some), and used a little more ginger than suggested. I try not to improvise when it comes to cloves, which can be overpowering if you’re not careful.

dry ingredients with spices

At that point the required ten minutes had passed, and I retrieved the cat vomit mixture to add in the rest of the ingredients. I hit a snag immediately: I thought I had enough pumpkin left for a whole cup of it, but I didn’t. Our grocery store had already closed. What to do? I topped up the measuring cup with just enough applesauce to get the measurement right, and hoped for the best. Then I added in the egg, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and melted butter. (I left out the raisins, as I find them unpleasant in baked goods.)

wet ingredients, no raisins

It was looking a little icky, but I knew that would change, especially after I added the mini chocolate chips.

adding mini chocolate chips

Action shot! Plus bonus robot bottle next to it. Also, the other crap I have on my counter on a busy Monday night. Oops.

I whisked it all together.

whisked together

And then added the dry ingredients, being careful to mix just until incorporated, and not a moment afterward.

final batter

I started with the mini muffins, and I admit things looked a little rustic. Maybe even lumpy. Rustic is nicer, though.

rustic muffin batter

And when they were out of the oven, they still looked rustic, but smelled fantastic.

rustic muffins, baked

I managed to get 9 full-sized muffins from the rest of the batter, and popped those into the oven. Oh, and I did my usual muffin trick on both sizes, preheating the oven to 25 degrees higher than the recipe says, then lowering it right after the muffins go in. I also didn’t need as much baking time as the recipe suggested, just a few minutes shy for each.

Both sizes turned out great. Really delicious, soft with a nice crumb, not dense at all, with the mini chips providing just the right sweetness without overdoing it. A new staple for sure. (Also, it turns out they are my boss’ favorite. Funny!)

muffins big and small

MINI PUMPKIN BRAN MUFFINS WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS RECIPE (original)

My version of Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Chips (adapted from All Day I Dream About Food)

ingredients:
1 1/4 cups reduced fat buttermilk
1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

directions:
Preheat the oven to 400F and generously grease 24 mini-muffin tins and 6 regular muffin tins. Or use just the 12 larger muffin tins.

In a large bowl, stir buttermilk and bran together and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Whisk in pumpkin, chocolate chips, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, molasses and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Gently fold flour mixture into the bran mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Spoon batter into prepared tins, to just the top of each tin. Put the tray with the full size into the oven and reduce temperature to 375, then bake until tops are set and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes. Once done, bake the mini-muffins at 375 for 10 -15 minutes.

Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool another 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 24 mini muffins plus 6 regular muffins, or 12 regular muffins.

Filed under mini muffins muffins pumpkin bran wheat bran chocolate chips healthy low fat mini chips mini chocolate chips mini crumb