Muffin Recipe Overhaul

I was going to call it a make-over. Then I thought “renovation” might be a better word. Looking back at the original recipe, I’m not even sure “overhaul” is strong enough to convey exactly what it was I did to this recipe.

It all started because I wanted muffins. Not just any muffins – tasty, healthy, oatmeal muffins. Muffins that didn’t necessitate making a trip to the grocery at 8:30 pm. As I headed off to orchestra rehearsal with my husband, I had two complaints: 1) I was tired of Ezekiel Bread for breakfast every day and 2) I couldn’t find the perfect recipe. You know, the one that just yells “bake me!”

True to fashion, he told me I would just have to make something up. I fumbled through half a dozen excuses about how or why I couldn’t possibly do something as heretical as tampering with another cook’s recipe. Dan sort of rolled his eyes and gave me the “get over it” look. By the time I was home from rehearsal, I knew he was right. It was “get over it” – or suffer the rest of the week with nothing but Ezekiel Bread for breakfast.

So I started digging for anything I could find vaguely related to the craving at hand: Oatmeal Muffins. I love oatmeal muffins. They give the feeling of eating one of those decadent cupcake-eque streusel topped muffins and the oatmeal gives this great chewy, filling texture that seems so perfect on a crisp fall day.

What I found resembled something off a nursing home menu:

Wheat-Oat-Raisin Muffins

  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c milk
  • 3 TBSP oil

Mix together all the dry ingredients. Beat together all the liquid ingredients. Combine the dry and liquid ingredients. Bake in a greased muffin tin at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Aside from its obviously humdrum qualities, this recipe was riddled with trouble for me. First – the sugars. Second – the flours. Third – my husband won’t eat raisins in his muffins. I could have selfishly left them in, but making a batch of muffins when I’m the only one to eat a dozen of them seems counterintuitive when I’m hoping to not frighten the entire population of a popular beach resort town next summer. After fooling around for a bit, debating sprouted grain flour vs. spelt flour and if there was a way to make a dent in that 5 LB bag of dried coconut in my cupboard – here’s what I came up with.

Oatmeal Orange Coconut Muffins

  • 1 c sprouted grain flour
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c stevia
  • 3/4 c dried coconut
  • 1/4 c blackstrap molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp natural orange extract

Combine dry ingredients (flour through coconut). Beat together liquid ingredients (molasses through orange extract). Gently add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and mix together until just moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin tin and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.

The result was wonderful. They were dense and chewy, lightened by the wisps of coconut and bright notes of the orange extract. They have a beautiful, pebbly texture and are wonderfully filling.

Anticipated changes for the next round:

  • Eliminate stevia
  • Sweeten with 1/4 c honey or maple syrup
  • Use coconut milk instead of whole milk

The new problem? I’m now in the mood to renovate every recipe I find. What would my home-ec teacher think?!


4 thoughts on “Muffin Recipe Overhaul

  1. Wow! For someone who is more than hesitant to mess with a recipe you did some major work on this one. I’m so proud of you. May this good result give you the confidence needed to keep at it. Knew you could do it.

  2. Amanda,
    I just discovered your blog via Facebook, and I absolutely love it! Way to go with all of the culinary and reading adventures, and best of luck!
    Also, I love the title of the blog! The “echoing footsteps” passage is just one of the many reasons I adore that book. 🙂
    Happy blogging!

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