Chi Wulff’s Friday Feast 25 January: Cran Bran Road Muffins

by Mark McGlothlin on January 25, 2013

in Friday Feast

Sometimes the little curveballs that life throws your way really do work out in your favor.

She Who Must Be Obeyed and I had to make a run to Bozeman this weekend on short notice for a business issue.

The trip almost didn’t come off due to an early visit to our household by the angel of death in the form of the death flu last week and some almost uncooperative weather between Puget Sound and Bozeman. We made the dash over yesterday and once again find it a joy to wake up in home country today.

Today happens to be the shared birthday of our two kids, born one year apart on the same day (long story, but in part due to the fact that our gynecologist was going fly fishing in Belize in a few days). That of course means that we’ll be making Birthday Pot Stickers this evening in Jake’s bachelor cave kitchen after getting business issues taken care of today.

SWMBO and I have spent and fair amount of time over the years traipsing around the West and have concocted a bevy of various ‘road foods’ to sustain us along the way. Bacon lovers of course still reach for these Bacon Breakfast Cookies though I stumbled across a recipe very similar to this one for a ‘healthy bran muffin’ a few weeks ago.

After some tweaking through a few trials that didn’t quite make the grade we’ve settled on this recipe. These muffins are good-for-you food masquerading as a treat; they’re sweetened by the fruit and well-spiced (including the toasted poppy seeds), with just a hint of sugar from the turbinado on top.

This one’s a keeper.

1 cup dried cranberries
¾ cup water
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole-wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. poppy seeds toasted
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
2/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons skim milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tsp. grated lemon zest or lemon granules
1 large egg
2 tsp. turbinado sugar

Prep work. Oven to 400; spray a 12-cup muffin tin (standard size) with non-stick spray.

Combine the dried cranberries and water in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove, cover and let stand 15 minutes; puree until smooth.

Toast the poppy seeds in a small skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Keep ‘em moving.

Combine. Mix the dry ingredients (wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, all purpose flour, toasted poppy seeds, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, combine well the yogurt, milk, maple syrup, grapeseed oil, lemon zest and egg.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined.

Make a muffin. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake until lightly browned and firmed up. Cool and remove.