Mondays...they're so Monday-ish, right?!! And what a whirlwind of a fun but kinda exhausting weekend it was for us--packed with a huge family milestone (congrats M&S), a pretty stellar late-night rockin' party, family in from out-of-town and a championship hockey game thrown in for fun. Whew! We're all exhausted and in need of some TLC. Now normally, I'd have thrown something a little extra special together for breakfast, but living without an oven, we had to settle for cold cereal or things-that-can-be-made-on-a-hot-plate, but there's no reason you shouldn't enjoy these super-delicious Cran-Bran Muffins. Not only do they make getting up SO much easier, but they're loaded with stuff that's actually good for you!! And what could be better than that?!
When it comes to muffins, there are really two camps: the muffins that masquerade as little morning cakes, giving you an excuse to eat dessert as your first meal of the day and the healthier ones that actually qualify as breakfast but are often less than tempting. I've got a lot of the first kind on this site--just check out my Muffins section here, but until now haven't really found a truly tempting healthier muffin, but my quest is now over. "Cause these are not only filled with gorgeous anti-oxidant rich cranberries, but with a generous amount of toasted wheat germ and plain yogurt, which in my book, makes them perfectly acceptable and pretty much guilt-free for breakfast!
Light, fluffy, not overly sweet with a crunchy slightly sugared top that contrasts perfectly with the tartness of the berries, these are sure to become a favorite! Can't wait to try them in my new kitchen! And speaking of kitchens, here's what we look like now. Counting down the days...counting down the days!
Make these and let me enjoy some vicarious pleasure through you!!
Makes about 14-16 muffins
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes (plus a few minutes to toast the wheat germ); Bake Time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 cup wheat germ, toasted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (don't thaw)
- Demerara or sanding sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins before baking
1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spread the wheat germ out evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until it gives off a nutty smell and is lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, line 2 muffin tins with paper liners, spacing them evenly so that each tray holds about 7.
2. Into a large bowl, pour the melted butter. Add in the brown sugar and the salt and whisk them together with a wire whisk. Whisk in the egg. Then whisk in the maple syrup, honey and oil. Now, use a spoon and add the flour, cooled toasted wheat germ, baking soda and yogurt, mixing only until the flour mixture is barely incorporated.
3. Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter and then top with the cranberries, pushing them down into the batter gently. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes until muffins are browned on top and spring bake when poked. These are best when eaten on the day you make them but pretty darned good for the next 3-4 days if kept covered at room temperature.
Note: Recipe adapted from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan. I used cranberries because I have so many bags still leftover in the freezer from Thanksgiving but these would also be great with fresh blueberries when blueberry season starts.