I love soft, fluffy, tender muffins, but I also love a good hearty and toothsome muffin. These bran muffins definitely end up in the latter category. Full of cranberries, walnuts, and bran of course, they are filling, satisfying and full of yummy bran flavor! With plenty of butter, and a good dose of sugar, it's not as though these are health muffins, but with all the bran, the fruit and the nuts I still feel pretty good about my breakfast when these are on the menu, and they are definitely worth having on the menu
I really do like bran muffins, but a lot of the recipes I've seen call for all different kinds of bran, or bran cereal, stuff I never have, and never feel like buying. What I really liked about this recipe is that the only thing I had to buy was bran, just straight up bran. No bran cereals or anything like that. Since buying the bran I've found a lot of other things to add bran to, just to kick up the health factor a small notch. So I have to say that it is totally worth it to go out and buy a bag of bran for this recipe. It's all you probably need, and one bag will last you quite a while. Think of it as a good investment in your future baking endeavors!
Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins
Adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery by Sarabeth Levine
- Softened unsalted butter, for the pan
- 1 2/3 cup wheat bran (not bran breakfast cereal)
- 1 2/3 cup unbleached flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon mild honey, such as clover or blended blossom
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Brush the insides of 10 muffin cups with softened butter, then brush the top of the pan.
Whisk the bran, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar. Beat, scraping the sides of the bowl often with a silicone spatula, until the mixture is very light in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Add the honey and beat for 1 minute. One at a time, beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In thirds, beat in the bran mixture, alternating with the two additions of the milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, and mix until smooth. Stir in the raisins.
Using a 2 ½-inch ice-cream scoop, portion the batter, rounded-side up, into the prepared cups.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until the tops of the muffins are browned, and a wire cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes more.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely.