It was Dec. 8th, feast of the Immaculate Conception. And I made it a point, with the new upcoming year, to start making more of our feast days. After all, whats not to like about feasts? Why let them slide by with no feasting? So this day needed something special for breakfast. Mini feasty. And I didn’t have all day, it had to be quick and easy.
Muffins are wonderful. They can have streusel topping or be dipped in melted butter and rolled in sugar. They can have fruit in them or bacon and scallions. Or they can have secret goo in the middle. Muffins fill many roles. Warm from the oven, they can’t be beat. (although a warm scone from the oven would give it a run for its money.)
This muffin recipe comes, more or less, from my very first Betty Crocker book. And its on one of the few pages that are completely stained, wrinkled and stuck together, with a weird old smell to it. Do you have one of those old BC books? This one had muffins and donuts on the same spread, with pancakes and waffles one page over. I must have referred these recipes a hundred times over the years. (Not many stains on the vegy pages, hmm)
But, like the Velveteen Rabbit, this book has been set aside for many years, overlooked for more flashy books with more shiny photography and no smell, and the internet and its lure of a gajillion blog sites.
Perhaps its the nostalgia of Christmas, I’m not sure, but as I remembered some great muffins I usually made with homemade chicken noodle soup all those years ago, I felt a craving. I gently pulled out the book with its missing spine.( I noticed again that mom didn’t inscribe the book, back when she gave it to me when I was 18 or so. But I know it was from her for christmas and she got it from Sears. It’s a 1978 edition. )
So here is an oatmeal muffin recipe that I filled with golden raisins, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. If you are feeling nostalgic and want something warm and tasty from the oven some cold morning, turn the oven on to 400 and get out this recipe.
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup of milk (although this time I used some soured cream I had waiting in the fridge, mixed with some milk)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of quick-cooking oats (I only have old-fashioned so I whacked them to death with a food chopper)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin or apple pie spice or a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg.
- 1 cup dried fruit such as raisins or Craisins
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
As I said above, turn your oven on to 400.
Get a muffin pan ready. I use muffin papers.
In a mixing bowl, whisk your wet ingredients. (egg, milk, butter, vanilla). Add the dried fruit to this.
In another bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients.
Just put the 2 together, merging them into one conglomeration, and just mix until all, um, mixed.Muffins don’t like to be beaten too much, makes them into tough biker dudes. Just mix until there is no dry bits left out.
Scoop them into the papered muffins tins. They make 11-12 muffins. Fill the cups up most of the way. They don’t rise a lot. But they do mound up and sometimes make little cracks on top.
Once you can gently press on them and they don’t leave an indent, but are springy, they are done. About 20 minutes.
Cool for just a few minutes, then open and slather with butter. Or maybe honey. Or both.
I wouldn’t recommend the scratch and sniff any more. Scratch and run more like it.