Friday, February 29, 2008
Spiced Oatmeal Muffins
I was rummaging through my fridge when I realized that I had a container of buttermilk that was a little old, but not quite expired. After I checked to make sure it was ok, I wanted to find a way to use it up quickly! Plus, I was sort of in the mood to bake something. So, I rummaged through this new baking book I got (The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion) and found a recipe for oatmeal muffins. Mind you, I still can't bring myself to eat oatmeal on its own, but that's another story!
Anyway, the recipe sounded really easy and healthy (oats, buttermilk, raisins, brown sugar). So, I thought, why not add some spices to the basic mixture and jazz it up a bit? My initial thought was to try to add a mix of spices that would resemble Indian tea masala. Masala chai meets oatmeal. Neat idea, huh? I thought so, but that's my twisted mind at work!
It turned out to not have as much of a spiced kick as I wanted, but was still delightful. The spices wound up more in the background and were subtle, combined with the flavor of the oats (without any sliminess!), juicy pop of raisins, and sweetness of brown sugar. Not only are these muffins really satisfying, they make a great start to the day! (Just keep in mind that the oats need to be soaked overnight.) I'm giving you the spice measurements that I used, but feel free to tweak them to your taste. :)
So, they're off to Suganya who's hosting WBB healthy eats this month! Without any further ado, let's get to the recipe, shall we?
This recipe yields 12 muffins.
Quick cooking or rolled oats - 1 cup
Buttermilk - 2 cups
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup, packed (you could cut back a bit for less sweetness)
Butter - 4 tbsp, melted (1 tsp per muffin!)
Egg - 1, lightly beaten
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
All purpose flour - 1 1 /2 cups
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Allspice, ground - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg, ground - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon, ground - 1/2 tsp
Ginger, ground - 1/2 tsp
Clove, ground - 1/4 tsp
Cardamom, ground - 1/2 tsp
1. Soak oats in buttermilk overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
3. In a large bowl, combine the oat and buttermilk mixture, butter, egg, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In another bowl, stir the raisins and spices (if using) into the flour. Pour into the large bowl used in the previous step and combine quickly and gently. Overworking will result in tough muffins!
5. Line muffin cups with paper liners or grease them.
6. Divide batter evenly between the cups and bake at 425 F for 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Then, remove from pans and allow to finish cooling.
Enjoy warm! They really don't need anything on them!
For a real treat, take the leftover muffins, cut them in half, and warm them in a hot oven until the edges become slightly crispy. Enjoy with or without butter. Delicious!! Alternatively, you could toast them (cut side down) on a slightly buttered griddle for the same effect. Try it. You'll be glad that you did! :)