It’s January: bring on the bran muffins

Cooking on the Rising Tide: I floated in the surf at North Beach yesterday

  • Feb. 5, 2016 3:00 p.m.

I floated in the surf at North Beach yesterday, the intense blue sky saturating my soul and the bright almost golden hued sunlight warmed my face.  I am just a wave undulation, weightless, not thinking of anything except my neck.  I’m thinking of my neck because it’s the coldest part of my body right now!  It is also the weakest link in my wetsuit, water seeping in where the seal is not so good between the hood and the neck part.  Okay, so now I’m thinking about other things, like perhaps it’s time to take my exit from the water, I’ve been bobbing and swimming, floating and playing for about an hour now, and I’m thinking it’s probably time for lunch, it’ll be after 2 by now for sure, all that and a hot cup of tea!

It’s January.  Bring on the Bran Muffins.  I was delighted to find a mini-muffin pan at the thrift store this week.  I’m sure I used to have one, probably sold it when I sold all the bakery stuff, anyways that and some mini foil liners in silver and gold make these little bite muffins a perfect snack for toddlers and for their appy lovin’  mamas.  Who really wants to eat a whole bran muffin anyways? These small bite wonders go exquisitely with fig Chevre,  cambozola cheese, or just some plain softened cream cheese.

Bran Muffins

1 c. prune paste

1 c. brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp. molasses

2 ¾ c. flour

1 ½ c. all bran

2 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 tsp. soda

2 c. buttermilk

Prune Paste

1 c. pitted prunes, 6 Tbsp. water, 2 tsp. vanilla

Combine above ingredients and blend until a smooth paste with an immersion blender or regular blender. In a large bowl, mix the prune paste and sugar together. Beat in the eggs and molasses.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into prune paste mixture.  Meanwhile add the buttermilk to the bran and let sit until softened, then add the soda.  Stir in Raisins then add all ingredients together and mix until just combined.

I use muffin pan liners as I am lazy and try to save time on clean up!  They work well.  This recipe makes about 2 ½ dozen muffins, so I cut it in half, currently makes more than enough for our house.  Baking time is about 20 minutes at 375ish degrees.

I get a little nervous with my current oven at that temp, so keep an eye on them!  If you’re using the mini muffin tins use your discretion, when they start to smell like they’re done they probably are, around 13 -14 minutes.

The tops will be firm to the touch, although don’t overcook them or they will be dry.  These are low in fat, so I feel somewhat justified to eat these with the above mentioned soft cheeses, but they’re good enough to stand on their own as well.  See you on the Beach, Muffin!

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