Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Banana Bran Muffins
I love the Pastry Queen. Of all the places I find recipes right now, her book is by far the most reliable source for great recipes. Not just good recipes or okay recipes, but really great recipes. I have a theory it's because her book is based on the recipes she sells at her bake shop in Texas, which means there are only a few recipes of each type, but each of those recipes is one of the best examples of that type that I have ever had. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe is now my default basic cookie. Her cheddar bacon scones are out of this world. The almond bliss German chocolate cake was amazing. And I could go on and on...
Today I made her banana bran muffin recipe. I have attempted muffins before -- mostly from the Dorie Greenspan book -- but they have pretty much always come out dry. (I still love you too Dorie -- the pecan sticky roll recipe from your book is still the very top of my list of all-time great recipes -- but muffins... not so much.) I tried the giant orange muffin recipe from the Pastry Queen and they were fantastic so I thought I would give these a try too.
This is the only "healthy" recipe in the Pastry Queen book. She, like me, does not believe in baked goods that are supposed to be healthy, but only end up tasting nasty. Therefore, she doesn't bother with so-called healthy food. These muffins however, have lots of all-bran style cereal, whole-wheat pastry flour and skim milk. I was a bit skeptical of the moistness considering my past experiences with muffins, but once again the Pastry Queen was right. They are dense, and not overly moist -- but at least fresh from the oven, they are perfect. We'll see how much they dry out overnight, but I have some hope at least.
One other note -- I used a 12-cup muffin pan to make these and baked them for about 13 minutes. She calls for 6 giant muffin pans and baking them for 25 minutes.
For anyone who gets one tomorrow -- finally, a breakfast you can at least not feel all guilty about.
2 cups high-fiber cereal made with wheat bran, such as All-Bran
1 cup skim or low-fat milk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1 ripe to overripe banana, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
additional high-fiber cereal for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan (standard size) with cooking spray. Stir together the bran cereal and milk in a large bowl; let the cereal soak for at least 5 minutes. In a separate medium bowl, which the egg and egg white until slightly frothy. Stir in the brown sugar, honey, canola oil,banana, and vanilla. Pour the liquid mixture into the bran mixture and stir until combined. Combine the two flours, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Pour the flour mixture into the bran mixture and stir just until the flour disappears -- do not over stir. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling the cups almost to the top. Decorate the muffin tops with a sprinkling of cereal.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temp.