Apple Bran Struesel Muffins

Bob’s Red Mill is not the only stone mill in Oregon. For those who saw the post and maybe are little jealous, there’s likely a lovely mill in your neighborhood. There was one such one in Medford and though I didn’t visit, I was thoughtfully gifted a cornbread mix and bran muffin mix as a “thank you” for watching two happy but rambunctious puppies last year.

As my “vegan” period was quickly approaching, I knew it was time to do a lot of baking with all the general baking ingredients (butter, eggs, milk, etc.) and just “get it out of my system.”  It had also been a rather rough week at work, and I decided a little morning treat for the meeting was in order.

Bringing in corn bread for a 9 am meeting isn’t exactly what I had in mind, so I decided to use the bran muffin mix.  The mix was the ground “bran” with dried buttermilk and leavening ingredient of baking soda.  To it, I followed the directions and added some melted butter, honey, and an beaten egg.  Though I don’t cringe at the thought of a bran muffin, I thought I should dress it up for my co-workers so it sounded tasty in addition to being fiber-ful and healthy (I feel like the Fiber One commercials right now — Delicious, Yes.  Cardboard, No.).

The recipe suggested adding raisins to the mix, but raisins and bran are equally off-putting to some people.  I did have a tart granny smith apple in hand (so versatile in my opinion as a snack with some crunchy peanut butter but also good for baking and … applesauce!).  I peeled it, cored it, diced it, and added it to the batter.

And so, that’s all healthy but it needed a little flair, I mixed up some crumbly walnut, brown sugar, butter struesel topping.  I scanned a few recipes online and decided I could make mix up 2 or 3 TB of  softened butter, a 1/3 cup of brown sugar, sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg, with another 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts.

My laziness set in at that moment (I think it was after a frantic moment of trying to salvage a sweater or two from a handwashing experiment gone TERRIBLY bad).

Although I have more than one muffin tin, I just decided to overfull the 12 rather prep another one.  I thought any messiness could be countered by thoroughly greasing every last inch.  I was wrong.  While they were delicious and tasty – irresistible straight from the oven in my opinion, they were not pretty as I had to gently scrap the overflow from the sides without destroying the muffin structure.   I was also very ready for bed, so they weren’t thoroughly cooled either.

The recipe would be perfect for those large CostCo size muffins, in retrospect.  Sad.  At least the not so beautiful presentation did not detract from the goodness.

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