The last time my husband was out of town on business, he asked me if I would make his favorite bran muffins. (See "What I Do for Love" Bran Muffins : http://www.food52.com/recipes...) I was making them every week during the winter, and while they are delicious, they also make a huge mess with many bowls to clean. I adapted that recipe from Cook's Illustrated, and I swear those people must have a million elves to clean up after them. I don't. So I decided to play around with the recipe a little to see if I could make really good muffins with less clean-up. There are still a lot of ingredients--get everything out ahead of time to make life easy--and clean-up was much better. This is a great snack to pack in a lunch box for dessert or a pick-me-up during the day. —drbabs
butter, room temperature
eggs, room temperature
packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 cups
plain whole milk yogurt (not greek)
All Bran Cereal
unbleached all purpose flour
whole wheat flour
Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa
old fashioned oats
freshly squeezed orange juice
toasted walnuts (or other nut as preferred), optional (I toasted pumpkin seeds and sprinkled them over the tops of the muffins.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, melt butter in microwave by heating it on the lowest setting for about a minute, just till melted. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs till well-combined. Add sugar, honey, vanilla and whisk to combine. Whisk in butter and then yogurt. (You can spoon it into the same measuring cup you used to melt the butter.) Stir in All Bran cereal, and set aside while you prepare dry ingredients. (You want the cereal to soften as it absorbs the liquid. This can take 5-10 minutes.)
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cocoa, wheat germ and oatmeal. Toast nuts if desired. (Place on a cookie sheet in the pre-heating oven till lightly toasted.)
When cereal has softened, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently fold with rubber spatula until batter is combined and evenly moistened. Gently fold raisins, nuts and orange juice into batter.
Using a 1/3 cup measure, drop batter into muffin cups forming soft mounds. Don't level surface. Bake 16-20 minutes, until muffins are dark golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
These freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave or toaster oven.