Recipes Inspired by the Mothers of Celebrity Chefs and
Famous Bran Muffins
By Maida Heatter (more info)
"My mother was incredible, she did everything Martha
Stewart does and more. Her bran muffins were a part of growing
up and I can not remember being without them for very long.
We used to take them on picnics, to the movies and Yankee
Stadium, and always in our lunch boxes. These bran muffins
have received a lot of attention since first appearing in
my cookbook, Maida Heatter's Great Desserts (Knopf, 1982),
but I fondly remember them as a staple for my father, Gabriel,
during the Lindbergh trial in Flemington, NJ. My father was
quite famous for his nightly news radio program and especially
remembered for the phrase "Ah there is good news tonight!"coined
during a WWII broadcast. The Lindbergh trial generated such
large crowds that the only place left for my father to live
was a small hotel room, and opportunities for decent meals
were scarce. Therefore, my mother and I would drive up from
Manhattan every few days and make a thermos delivery of hot
vegetable soup and bran muffins. I think it is these muffins
that made that small room bearable for so many weeks."
Yields: 18 muffins
This is a great recipe to make the night before (up to adding
the flour mixture) so that you can have fresh muffins ready
in a jiffy the next morning.
- 2 ounces ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dark or light molasses or honey
- 2 eggs (large grade)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups bran cereal (do not use flakes, Maida recommends
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts broken into large pieces
- 1/2 cup unsifted whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsifted all purpose white flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- If your oven can not fit both muffin tins
side by side on the middle rack, adjust the 2 racks to divide
the oven into 3rds.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Butter 18 2 3/4 inch muffin forms. Note:
Buttering the tins will create a very nice crust for the
muffins, if using paper cups the crust may be diminished
but the muffins will keep longer.
- Melt butter over low heat. In a large mixing
bowl combine the melted butter, sugar and molasses or honey
and stir to mix.
- In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk
- Slowly add the egg mixture to the butter
mixture stirring with a wire whisk to blend. Mix in the
bran and raisins and let stand for a few minutes. Or cover
and refrigerate overnight. Stir in walnuts.
- Sift together flours, salt, and baking
soda and add to bran mixture. Stir quickly with rubber spatula
just enough to moisten dry ingredients.
- With a large spoon, fill prepared cups
with batter about 2/3rds full.
- Bake for 15 minutes rotating muffin pans
once to insure even cooking. Muffins will be done when they
spring back from touch. Note: If muffin mixture has been
refrigerated, cooking time will be 4 minutes longer. Take
muffins from oven and remove from baking tins immediately
and cool on rack.
Heatter is the author of "Best Dessert Book Ever",
"Book of Great Chocolate Desserts", "Book of
Great Desserts", "Brand-New Book of Great Cookies",
"Cakes, Cookies, Pies and Tarts", "Great American
Desserts", "Great Cookies", "New Book of
Great Desserts" (by Random House).
She is also known as the "The
Chocolate Lady", title she received after her cookbook, The
Chocolate Book, was the first cookbook to make the NY Times