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As you may have heard, I have been battling bronchitis for several weeks now. Being so sick is making me totally exhausted, so all I want to do is lay in bed. I don’t even want to lay in bed and read or watch TV- I only have enough energy to just lay there. I’m starting to wonder when I will ever feel better! Thankfully, one thing has been able to get me out of bed: fruit and nut bran muffins.
Even being so sick, it feels so good to be in the kitchen baking and creating- and these bran muffins are so worth it! Dotted with dried cherries and raisins with just a sprinkling of sliced almonds, these soft bran muffins are a filling way to start the morning. They are easy to grab on-the-go, or sit and enjoy with a pat of butter over your morning cup of coffee. While the bran muffins are moist, they are also thick and filling. It doesn’t take more than one or two to keep you going until lunchtime! This is a great recipe to make on a Sunday evening and eat each morning for breakfast throughout the week.
I love dried cherries, and I think they are the perfect addition to this recipe. The cherries stand in contrast to the sweetness of the raisins, adding the perfect tang to each bite. One thing to note about the cherries is that you have to chop them up! If the cherries are too large, they will sink to the bottom of the muffin and clump together there. Be sure to cut them up into smaller pieces to keep them suspended throughout the muffins.
You don’t have to limit yourself to raisins and cherries though. Any kind of dried berry would be great in these bran muffins! As for the nuts, while my recipe calls for almonds, I think walnuts would be a lovely alternative, or you could even try a combination of both. Feel free to experiment- but be sure to come back and tell me what you tried in the comments!
Tools I used to make this recipe:
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups oat bran
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup dried cherries, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup dried raisins
- 1 cup slivered almonds, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the eggs, butter, milk, vanilla and bran. Let the mixture stand for five minutes to thicken while you prep the other ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir together, working out all the clumps from the brown sugar.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir until just moistened.
- Fold in cherries, raisins, and almonds.
- Grease a muffin pan very well, then pour in batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Melting the butter before adding it is essential to keeping the right moist, chewy texture of the muffins. Don't skip this step!
- When adding flour, be sure to scoop the flour into the measuring cup using a separate spoon, then level. Do not scoop directly from the flour container; this results in tough, dense muffins.
- And finally, while I know this is probably written on every baking recipe anywhere, do not overmix. If you do, the muffins won't rise well. Only mix until the dry and wet ingredients have just combined.