It’s time to begin preparations for holiday baking and first that means a look in the back of the fridge for remains from last year. There’s almost always going to be jams, jellies, fillings and other sugared foods that easily survive a year. I found a jar with almost one cup of last winter’s date filling, which was made from a kilo of Saudi Arabian dates from JD’s Market selection.
As soon as I found it, I knew that I wanted to use it in the middle of some bran muffins, but did not want to spend the extra time to partially fill each muffin cup with batter, spoon in the filling, then cover it with more batter and bake. My family loves the surprise in the middle of muffins, whether it be homemade apple filling or date filling, or most anything I dream up, actually.
Add a banana, some dried cranberries from the organic bulk food aisle and the juice of a couple clementines to some souped up bran flakes and uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal, spoon it into muffin tins, drop in a teaspoonful of date filling, and voila! Muffins for breakfast, brunch or snacks.
RECIPE: juliyya’s Date-Topped Fruity Bran Muffins
2 c. bran cereal flakes
1/2 c. old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 c. milk
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 banana, mashed
1/2 c. dried cranberries
juice of 2 small clementines, around 2 T.
1/4 c. canola oil
1 1/3 c. unbleached flour, 1 T. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt
- Soak bran flakes and oatmeal in milk for 5 minutes in mixing bowl, maybe 10 if you’re busy and while oven is heating to 400 degrees. Stir with your wooden spoon once in awhile.
- Add eggs, banana, brown sugar, oil and dried cranberries. Mix very well.
- Then add the clementine juice.
- Measure dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix well with a fork or small whisk, then add to the wet ingredients, mixing as little as possible, only until you don’t see flour in batter.
- Spoon into muffin tins. Some people use paper muffin cups. I’d rather wash the pan than peel off the paper and lose part of the goodness.
- If filling, I’ve explained it in the post. Your choice of filling or topping. Filling is optional.
- Bake 15-20 minutes depending on your oven, until golden brown on top and browner on the edges. Cool a few minutes in pan, then put on wire rack to cool. They’re great, again and again.