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Chocolate Chip-Bran Muffins

Tips: The first time I thought of these, I questioned my sanity. But then I began to reconsider. I love bran muffins anyway, and why would the addition of some chocolate change that? It didn’t, of course. You’ll need a standard, 12-cup muffin tin with cups 2-1/2 inches in diameter (measured at the top). Although you can grease the individual muffin cups, I always use paper liners. It’s a cinch to remove the muffins from their cups after baking, the muffins look pretty, and I’ve heard (though I can’t confirm it) that they stay fresh longer if the paper liners are used. I use currants here because I can find them easily in the markets and I like their small size in this recipe. If you cannot find them, I’d think you could substitute dark raisins without much trouble, though you might want to snip the raisins in half with kitchen shears.

Muffins should always be served warm. If you can’t serve these fresh from the oven, store them airtight at room temperature for up to a day or two; microwave at 50% (medium power) for a few seconds, just until warm, before serving. For longer storage, freeze the muffins. Defrost, still in wrappings, at room temperature, then heat as above before serving. I like the idea of getting in a little fiber with all of those calories!

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups All-Bran ™ (see Note)
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (lowfat milk is fine here)
  • 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup dried currants, picked over, with stems removed
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Few grains of salt
  • 1 egg, graded “large”, beaten to combine

I use a one quart liquid measuring cup to make this, but you can use a medium heatproof bowl if you prefer. Place All-Bran, brown sugar, butter, and orange zest into bowl; do not stir. Heat milk until very hot, then pour over this mixture. Stir well to melt butter, then allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the individual cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set prepared tin aside.

In small bowl, stir together chocolate chips and currants until well-blended, breaking up any clumps of currants stuck together. Set aside briefly. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, then blend well. Take about a tablespoon of the sifted dry ingredients, add to the chip-currant mixture, and stir well to coat the chips and currants with the flour mixture.

The All-Bran mixture must be at room temperature, or barely warm, before you continue. If it’s too hot, it may scramble the egg or melt the chocolate chips (guess how I know?). When cooled, add the beaten egg, and beat in with a spoon just to combine. Add the sifted dry ingredients, and stir until mostly incorporated, Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add chips, currants, and any flour mixture at the bottom of the bowl; stir in just until chips and currants are evenly distributed.

Batter will be thick. Divide evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling each cup a bit more than three-fourths full. Bake in preheated oven for 14 to 17 minutes, turning back-to-front once about halfway during baking time. Muffins will rise and tops of many will crack. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin in the middle of the tin emerges with a few moist crumbs still clinging to it. Do not overbake!

Remove tin to cooling rack. Carefully remove muffins from individual cups to cooling rack (leave them in their paper liners if you used them). Cool until warm before serving, or store and warm before serving as suggested above.

Note: I use Kellogg’s All-Bran, in the original variety. I haven’t tried this recipe with any other type of this cereal.

© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

 

 

 



...Published: February 2005
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