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applesauce cake

adapted from Gale Gand's Applesauce Cake 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature 2 cups brown sugar (dark or light), ...

Monday, July 11, 2016

top shelf oatmeal muffins

extra cinnamon + granola topped variation

there is a bakery in Austin that makes what I consider to be the perfect oatmeal muffin -- kind of plain, lightly sweet, a bit chewy with old-fashioned oats -- nothing fancy, but just right. I think I've come very close to cracking the recipes here. these are just as good, if not just a teeny bit better, in my humble opinion. super-easy to make. give 'em a try!

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant!)
  • 1-1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
preheat oven to 400 degrees F. line muffin pan with paper liners (or butter and flour thoroughly if not using liners. add brown sugar and butter to the mixer, and start blending. add eggs one at a time, then add oats and buttermilk. add flour, kosher salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking powder, and finish mixing when just combined (don't overmix). divide mixture into muffin pan wells and bake for 22-27 minutes, until golden brown on top, and done inside (a clean toothpick emerges without batter or crumbs stuck to it). cool on a wire rack and consume in good health! I used to pay over $1 per muffin; this entire batch of 12 muffins cost around $3 total.

variations -- any one or two of these would work well, or even all at once! 
  • substitute yogurt thinned with water or milk to buttermilk consistency
  • use a full teaspoon of cinnamon and add 1/3 cup raisins (golden raisins are especially nice here)
  • add the zest of 1/2 an orange and add 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • before baking, top each muffin with about 1 teaspoon granola

Saturday, July 09, 2016

fully-loaded everyday granola

my favorite way to eat this delicious granola is in a bowl of Greek yogurt, with lots of chopped fresh fruit added, along with a drizzle of honey. it's also fantastic on ice cream.
  • 42 ounce* (large) canister old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • zest of 4 oranges (organic preferred)
  • 1 ½ cups extra virgin coconut oil (refined or unrefined; whatever you prefer)
  • 2 cups sweetener (any combination of maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, etc. -- I typically use 1 ½ cups brown sugar and ½ cup honey)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, tart cherries, blueberries, apples, etc., in any combination), chopped if they’re larger than cranberries
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 ½ cup toasted nuts (slivered or flaked almonds, chopped pecans, etc., in any combination)
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
preheat oven to 275 degrees F. line two half-sheet pans (or the equivalent of large baking pans) with parchment paper or foil. place oats and coconut in a large bowl and mix. in large (quart size or larger) glass bowl or measuring cup, combine coconut oil, orange zest, sweetener, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, and microwave for about 3 minutes (alternatively, cook over medium-low heat in medium saucepan, stirring constantly, until all sweetener and oil are melted and warm -- do not boil). pour the oil/sweetener mixture over the oat mixture and combine thoroughly. spread out on parchment-lined or silpat-lined half-sheet pans in an even layer and place in oven for 60 minutes, stirring mixture every 20 minutes & rotating pans on shelves for even toasting. it will turn light golden brown near the end, but won’t crisp up until it starts to cool.

while granola is baking, toast each type of nut and/or seed used individually, in a skillet with a bit of coconut oil, until done to your taste -- do NOT allow them to burn! add them to the bowl that held the oat mixture, and add in the dried fruits and combine.
when oats are done, allow pans to cool on wire racks for a few minutes. tip oats into the bowl with dried fruits and nuts and allow to rest and cool for a few more minutes while you clean the baking sheets (if you let it sit in the baking sheets/pans, it really sticks to them and it's hard to get it all out). stir it all together, let cool completely, and then pack into two gallon-size ziplock bags. I always save an oat container from the previous time and pack the ziplocks in the oat containers to keep them intact.

*note: it’s fine to pull out 1-2 cups of oats to use in a recipe before making granola -- it will come out about the same. I usually take out around 1 ½ cups oats to make a batch of oatmeal muffins.