Monday, June 26, 2006

Multigrain Cranberry Muffins

On a recent health food kick, I bought a box of multigrain cereal - the sort you cook like oatmeal. I tried a bowl and wasn't a fan, even after I loaded it up with honey and brown sugar (which kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?). So I had to think of something else I could do with the stuff. I also need some baked goods to bring to my lab meeting on Wednesday, so I decided to try this recipe for multi-grain cranberry muffins.

These came out fairly tasty, but a little dry - perhaps altering the vegetable oil-to-applesauce ratio would moisten them up a bit? As far as this batch is concerned, they'll be perfect heated up and slathered with (low-fat) butter (spread).

1 c. milk
1 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil [I used 1 Tbsp oil and 2 Tbsp applesauce, but I think the muffins would be moister - and therefore better - with more fat]
1 c. uncooked multigrain cereal
1 3/4 c. AP flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. allspice [the original recipe calls for mace, which I didn't have. Cinnamon would probably work equally well.]
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat milk, vegetable oil and applesauce in a saucepan over medium heat until very warm (but not boiling). Stir in multigrain cereal and let stand 10-15 minutes. While this is 'cooking,' mix together flour, salt, baking powder and spice(s) in a large bowl.

Stir brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract into the cereal mixture. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir very briefly, until flour is almost incorporated (big clumps/streaks are ok at this point). Stir cranberries in gently. [NB: You never want to overbeat this type of mixture (muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc) or your end product will come out very tough. Just stir until you don't see obvious streaks of flour. For this recipe, I think it's especially important as the whole grains will get very tough if you give them a chance to produce a lot of gluten during overmixing.]

Scoop into greased muffin tin; sprinkle the top with some turbinado (unrefined) sugar if desired. Bake 12-15 minutes at 400°F. I got 15 smallish muffins using an average cupcake tin from this recipe.


Caroline said...

They look good. Anything + cranberries = good to me!

I wonder if heating the applesauce did anything? I usually have the opposite problem with applesauce- the inside of whatever I cook comes out too moist.

Cereals always seem to make yummy things. I made the Kashi Good Friends Cinna-Raisin Crunch cookies once and they were out of this world. I ate half of them in one sitting!

Ruth said...

These sound scrumptious! Definitely a "bookmark" for me!

Thanks for sharing