03 May 2010

Muffin Morning

Pretty much any recipe that calls for rolled oats soaked in buttermilk overnight is destined to be a keeper. Something magical happens when those thick, chewy oats spend a chilly evening soaking up tangy, creamy buttermilk. Instead of each oat working on its own, when the mixture is folded together with other ingredients like eggs, sugar and flour, the oats become the dense, moist structure of something delicious.

This recipe is from Marion Cunningham's "The Breakfast Book." This is one for your shelves, my friends. And what a great gift. Brides, moms and bakers don't need oodles of books about sauces and prime rib. They need a book full of recipes for great baked goodies. And Cunningham is one of the best.

So, pick up some buttermilk and rolled oats, and get to the kitchen. There's also something exciting about waking up in the morning and knowing your buttermilk-soaked oats are waiting for you. If muffins aren't your thing, I'm still singing the praises of this pancake recipe. And if you've got buttermilk left over, add some mayo, a splash of vinegar, herbs and seasoning and call it Ranch Dressing.

Seriously, nothing but goodness comes from this sour stuff.

Irish Oatmeal Muffins
From "The Breakfast Book" by Marion Cunningham

2 cups buttermilk
1 cup rolled oats
2 eggs
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine the buttermilk and the oats at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before mixing and baking the muffins. Stir well, cover and let rest in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the muffin tins.
Put the eggs in a mixing bowl and beat just until yolk and white are blended. Add the sugar and beat until smooth and well blended. Add the buttermilk -oatmeal mixture. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and oil. Beat until the batter is well mixed.
Fill the muffin tins three-quarters full of batter. They usually bake about 20 minutes, but start testing for doneness after 15 minutes. Either remove the muffins from the tins and cool on racks or serve hot from the pan. Makes two dozen muffins.

Note: I added frozen blueberries straight from the freezer.

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