Sunday, November 3, 2013
After a bit of an unplanned 5-month hiatus from the blog (read this), I'm back and ready to share more baking stories with you!
First stop on the Happy Go Marni Returns Choo Choo Train are these delicious, hearty blueberry buttermilk bran muffins! My favorite thing about them is the use of coconut oil. It adds a really great texture and flavor to an already classic baked good, and seems to make the muffins a little sweeter than using just boring vegetable oil. Feel free to play around with different combinations of flour. I used a combination of white whole wheat flour and regular all-purpose flour. You could also go for some pure whole wheat flour, but be forewarned that it will be a denser, heavier muffin.
Lucky for most of us, even if you can't find fresh blueberries in the store or it's not the right season, blueberries are available frozen year-round, and work great in baked goods. You don't even have to thaw them; just toss the frozen berries into the batter and they bake into delicious, plump bursts of juice. You can also buy tons of fresh blueberries when they are in season, and then freeze them yourself for the off-season.
I made a lot of people really happy with these muffins. I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as my taste-testers all did!
Blueberry Buttermilk Bran Muffins
Adapted from a recipe in The Kitchn
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled (although still liquid)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups bran cereal (such as All-Bran)
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, do not thaw first)
1 cup pecan halves, optional (for the tops)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coconut oil, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and sugar. Add the bran cereal and flours (whatever combination of flour you choose), and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Do not overmix or your muffins will bake into a dense brick...blech. Finally, gently fold in the blueberries, and again, don't overmix (if you stir too much, your batter will become an ugly grey color).
Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners or grease/spray each cup. Fill each cup all the way to the top. Place some pecan pieces on the top of each muffin cup. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are firm and a light golden brown. I found that 28 minutes was the perfect baking time for my oven. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing muffins from the pan. Serve at room temperature or warm. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or store in the fridge to last a few extra days.
Step-by-Step in Pictures
Mix together the eggs, buttermilk, coconut oil, salt, baking soda, vanilla, lemon zest, and sugar...
Add the bran cereal...
Add the flour...
Gently fold in the blueberries...
Stir just until combined, but do not overmix...
Fill each muffin cup all the way to the top and scatter some pecan pieces on top...
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack...