Thursday, February 08, 2024

Joy of Cooking Muffins

I've been baking from The Joy Of Cooking cookbook for longer than I can remember. This is one of those full compendium type cookbooks and it's from before there were photographs with recipes, although there are some line drawings here and there.

Another feature is that the recipes are written as directions, with the ingredients and amounts coming as part of the recitation of oven temperatures, bowls to use, pans to bake in, etc.

I prefer a recipe where the ingredients are listed first so that I can make sure at a glance that I have the stuff I need to make the item(s). Since I have a well-stocked kitchen it is very likely that I'll have the pan or pot or implement needed, but missing an ingredient is often a reason I decide to not make something.

Recently I made some healthy-ish muffins based on a recipe in the Joy of Cooking book. The recipe was for Cooked Cereal Muffins. Mine also included added nuts and seeds, plus dates.

The key thing to remember for this recipe is to cook the cereal (I used oatmeal!) far enough in advance that it can cool to room temperature. While it is cooling, the melted butter can also cool a bit. The egg and milk can use that same time to warm up a bit closer to room temperature. While those things are cooling or warming, you can chop the nuts and seed and chop the dates. After that it all goes together pretty quickly. I did use brown sugar instead of white, for flavor, and added a bit of baking soda because the muffins were baked in two batches in 8-pan tins.

This past weekend we had some major storms, including a cyclone. The winds toppled trees all over the county and beyond, which meant that many electrical wires also came down. There are still areas and thousands of customers without power today. Fortunately we were only without power for about 30 hours. We have generators which we ran for a couple hours twice a day to keep frozen stuff frozen, but not a lot more. The local internet provider also lost lines so it was even longer before that was back. Still, we were lucky that there was no damage to our property and only a few pretty small tree limbs came down.

Fortunately I had made these muffins the night before, so at least we had yummy date-walnut-oatmeal-seeds muffins to enjoy. I hope that you enjoy them, too.

Cooked Oatmeal And Seedy Muffins With Walnuts and Dates

Joy of Cooking variation

2 eggs at room temperature

½ cup rolled oats cooked in 1 cup water, then cooled to room temperature

1 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk at room temperature

4 Tablespoons/4 oz./ ½ stick butter, melted and cooled

1 ½ cups all- purpose flour

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup walnuts, chopped

¼ cup pitted and chopped dates

1/3 cup King Arthur Baking Harvest Blend mixed seeds

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 16 muffin cups – baking spray works well.

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, then mix the eggs with a fork to break them up a bit. Add to the cooled cooked cereal gradually and use the fork to break down any lumps as you combine the eggs and cereal. Add the milk and melted butter and combine.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda and salt. Stir in the chopped walnuts, dates and the seed mixture. Pour in the liquid mixture and use the fork to stir until just combined.

Scoop batter into the muffin cups to about 2/3 full. If any of the cups are left unused, add a tablespoon of water to that cup instead.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and spring back when you push down gently.

Serve at once. Butter goes well with these muffins which are hearty and delicate at the same time.


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