Don't these make you want to just reach through the screen and pick off a piece of the golden nubby muffin top? What if I told you that in addition to being addictively tasty that these little beauties are also good for you and loaded with things like fiber, veggies, fruit and nuts, sending you off into the day powerfully charged and ready to go--hence the name. Would you attempt the screen reach now? Wouldn't it just be awesome if it were reality and not just a Willy Wonka fantasy?! But until then, there's no reason for you to be deprived, just scroll down for the recipe and you can make them yourselves. Here's to morning power! And muffins, of course!
There's an amusing little story about the first time my daughter and I tasted these muffins which are from the Boston-based bakery, Flour, and though I'm pitching these as the perfect breakfast food, ironically we ate one (along with 2 cookies) for dinner! See we'd been driving all day on a hockey odyssey through New England, encountering the gamut of weather extremes from rain to freezing rain to snow to blinding sun and as a reward for our travails, we had promised ourselves to make a detour to Flour, a bakery we'd been wanting to visit ever since I got the cookbook a couple of years ago. So white-knuckled and bleary-eyed, we finally reached Boston and Flour about 7:00 pm. Being that it was late in the day, their supplies were a bit depleted but we managed to snag one of these amazing muffins and a couple of incredible cookies and reveled in them as we drove home in a thunderstorm. If you ever get a chance to go to Flour, jump at it!! Anyway, though we were kind of exhausted the next day, we just had to recreate the muffins at home for other, less fortunate-not-to-be-driving-for-10-hours-in-a-car family members to try. As predicted they were a huge hit!
The muffins are moist, light, not overly sweet and filled with goodies like zucchini, apple, coconut, pecans and raisins plus stuff that really sticks to your ribs like wheat bran and rolled oats.
One of these will really keep you going until lunch, yet won't weigh you down like some of those dense and kinda tasteless store bought varieties. Bake up a batch of these and you'll actually look forward to mornings and that my friends, is powerful, Morning Power(ful) Muffins!
Morning Power Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time: 35-45 minutes
- 1/2 cup wheat bran
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 small zucchini, grated
- 1/2 cup yellow raisins
- 3/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped (I used Granny Smith)
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Make sure the rack is centered in the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. Stir together the wheat bran and hot water in a medium bowl, until the bran has absorbed all the water. Add in the zucchini, raisins, pecans, coconut and apple and stir well.
3. Use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and eggs together. If you're using a stand mixer, attach the whisk attachment and beat for 3-4 minutes on medium speed until the mixture is thick and light. If you use a handheld mixer you will probably need to beat for about 6-8 minutes. Once the mixture is thick and lightened, turn the speed down and slowly and gradually pour in the oil over the course of 1 minutes. Then add in the vanilla and beat until it's incorporated too. Remove from the mixer.
4. In a separate bowl, add the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and combine well. Using a rubber spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, folding gently, until the ingredients are well combined. Add in the bran mixture and fold again until well combined. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups almost to the tops of the rims.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the muffins look light brown and the tops spring back when you gently press the middle in with your finger. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and continue to cool.
6. Like all muffins, these taste best on the day they're baked but are pretty amazing on Day 2. 3 4 and even 5! Store them at room temperature, individually wrapped in plastic wrap and warm them in a low oven for a few minutes if you like. Also, I haven't tried this, because I'm not a freezer person, but they can be frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for about 1 week and reheated, unthawed in a 300ºF oven for about 8-10 minutes.
Note: Recipe adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang. I stuck pretty true to the recipe but increased the amount of nuts a bit.