Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cranberry Apricot Bran Muffins

I know it's Wednesday and I have yet to post something this week. I try to post a new recipe every Sunday but a lot happened in the last week and over the weekend so I just didn't get around to it! Big news: I've moved! While I've been in med school, I've been living with my parents in the suburbs to help save a lot of money. It's been good, and it was a smart decision, but I reached a point where I felt like it was time for me to move out once and for all. To be honest, I wasn't even looking for an apartment but the perfect place kind of just fell into my lap. In 2 days I'd signed the lease and started moving in. I've been in my new place for only a couple of days now but I am loving it! While all of this has been going on I also started working nights for a couple of weeks so I am really all messed up, but it's okay, especially now that I have my own place to come home to. 

I hope to put up a post soon to show everyone my new place and give more details about how it all happened so fast. Until then however, these muffins will have to do. I love me a good bran muffin, especially one that is heavy and hearty and dense (in a good way). These muffins are just that. They are definitely branny, just how I like it. There is not a lot of sugar in them, so if you have a big sweet tooth you may want to add a bit more for your taste, either that or add in some sweeter fruit. I used cranberries and some frozen apricots that I had, both quite tart and not super sweet. Some nice ripe strawberries or blueberries would probably help up the sweetness if that is what you're looking for. But whatever you decide, these are a great, hearty way to start off any day on the right foot. 

A little butter, a little sugar, a lot of bran and a nice amount of fruit all come together perfectly in these little treats. The original recipe called for oil, but I decided to swap it out for some melted butter. Seemed to work out just fine. Butter just seemed more "right" in these so I just did it. But if you'd rather use oil go for it. This recipe also called for citrus zest, optional but I highly recommend it. I really like citrus zest in my baked goods, especially orange zest, it really adds a wonderful flavor and brightness. I didn't have an orange when I made these so I used some clementine zest instead which worked well. I don't think it has quite the punch as orange zest, but it worked well in a pinch. All in all these are a great way to start off your morning with a little treat that actually feels like breakfast and not dessert.

Cranberry Apricot Bran Muffins
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Blue Sky Bran Muffins
  • 1 1/3 cups (315 ml) buttermilk 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • Zest of 1 clementine (orange zest would be fine too), optional but highly recommended
  • 1 1/2 cups (90 grams) wheat bran
  • 1 cup (125 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2-4 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chopped mixed fruit (I used frozen apricots and frozen cranberries)
Heat oven to 425 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Whisk buttermilk, egg, melted butter, brown sugar vanilla and clementine zest in a small bowl. Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix your fruit with 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir wet mixture into dry until partially mixed, then add in the fruit and continue to mix until just combined and still a bit rough.
Spoon batter into each prepared muffin cup. Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining sugar to taste. 

Bake muffins for a total of 14 to 16 minutes, rotating pan once midway through baking time for even browning, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Do not overbake. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from tin.

Yields: 10 muffins

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