Thursday, March 26, 2009

Muffin Break

I'm in the throes of my writing. Well, sorta...I'm taking a blogging break. I promised my adviser he'd see three chapters and two syllabi by Monday. Right now, I have not quite one finished chapter, a hefty start on another, and the inklings of a third (i.e. notes on scratch paper). I do, however, have a full syllabus. I have to say that I'm pretty proud of my work on it. I put a lot of time into it, and the feedback so far has been very positive. I already sent the syllabus off to my adviser and to one of my readers to get their feedback. All in all, I'm making a lot of progress, and I feel confident that in a week or so, I'll have a full draft turned in*. Then on to defense!

Meanwhile, I baked muffins last night, and I thought I'd share the recipe with you all. I do have to warn you all that this is a rough approximation of a recipe, since I just threw what I had lying around in it. I'll try to hone it soon, since I have vats of pumpkin puree in my freezer. I think this will get you close enough, however, so feel free to play around with it. But I can vouch that the results are delicious. Not too sweet, flavorful and filling, and perfect for a nutritious breakfast.

Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins
Makes 24 muffins
  • 1-1/2 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut**
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • blueberries (I just dumped in about a cup)
  • spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves
  • ~1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • some hazelnut oil--2 tbsp?
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two muffin tins (24 muffin cups)--either lining with papers or spraying in a bit of oil. I use a Misto and it works perfectly, but my tins are also non-stick. I also have silicone muffin liners, which work pretty well and are reusable.

In a medium bowl, mix together flours, oats, coconut, baking powder and soda, spices, and salt, pecans, and blueberries. If using frozen blueberries, we've noticed that just mixing in solid berries works, but it might cook better if they are somewhat thawed.

In a large bowl, mix everything else. Mix dry into wet and stir thoroughly. Normally recipes have you mix the wet into the dry, but I always find flour on the bottom when I'm part way through filling the cups, so I prefer this way. Don't overmix or you'll kill all the good bubbles. Scoop into muffin cups and bake until golden brown and done--a toothpick will come out cleanly.***

*Cue crushing chest anxiety. Oh my.
**The only place I have been able to find unsweetened coconut is the natural foods store in the bulk bins. Believe me, it's far better than the sweetened crap.
***Though not if you stick it in the middle of a blueberry. Also, if you have an inconsistent oven like mine, some might be done before others, so rotate the tins around occasionally. I'm really not sure how long it took to bake since I just let them go until they smell, look, and feel right.

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