Friday, June 1, 2007

Oatmeal Muffins - Part 1

Looking in my pantry yesterday, I gazed at a way-too-big canister of old-fashioned oats (that I have been trying to use up forever) and an unopened box of currants (that I haven't even attempted to use) and wondered what I could do with them before I finally gave up and tossed them both in the trash. So, after a little time online, I came across the below recipe for Oatmeal Muffins on Epicurious. I changed only two things from the original recipe: 1.) I used low-fat buttermilk instead of regular buttermilk, and 2.) I added 1 teaspoon of maple extract. (Yet another thing in my pantry I can't seem to use up.) Currants and maple extract give these the taste of your favorite oatmeal raisin cookie or oatmeal raisin pancake recipe in muffin form. (You decide which description you like better.) These muffins are so moist, rich and delicious that there's no need to put anything on them. No butter, cream cheese or jam is necessary. They are simply perfect as is. (How can they not be good with 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 stick of butter?) The recipe for these came from a Gourmet reader's mother's home economics class in Louisiana back in the 1940's. They were delicious then, and they're still delicious now. So delicious that I adapted the same recipe and made another batch. (See the next post.)

Oatmeal Muffins

Adapted from Epicurious (Gourmet – February 1995)

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon maple extract
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dried currants

In a large bowl, combine oats and buttermilk and let stand 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400° F and butter twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins.

Add egg, maple extract, sugar, and butter to oat mixture, stirring until just combined.

Into another large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and add to oat mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in currants.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin tins. Bake muffins in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

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