January's Ugly Food Recipe: The Ever Adaptable Muffin Recipe

 photo via Sweetie and the Kitchen

photo via Sweetie and the Kitchen

There's a bakery in New York, in Park Slope, that makes the BEST muffins. I'm not even exaggerating. They have a cult following. Fluffy insides, perfectly crispy tops that hiss when broken. And they are so adaptable. They even have ones with a slightly sweet cream cheese in the center that gets all melty and wonderful when made in a traditional 'blueberry muffin' version.

I used to go every Saturday morning with a girlfriend and grab a muffin and coffee for about $3. One day, after moving and mourning the loss of these beauts in my life, I came across a blog post with the recipe. Lo and behold, it was spot on. (Thank you, Sweetie and the Kitchen. I owe you more than you know.)

And the best part? The base is a bran muffin so it's healthy (right?)! You can add so many ugly fruits and veggies without your guests (or kids) even knowing. You're welcome.

Things you'll need:

  • 1 muffin tin (one of those big 6 muffin guys)
  • an oven (obviously) set to 425 degrees F - this is key, a hot oven makes those sky high crispy tops of perfection
  • 2 and 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c extra virgin olive oil (the original recipe calls for vegetable oil so you can use that too, although I try to stay away from veggie oil)
  • 3 c. wheat bran
  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c. dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cup ugly fruits (and/or veggies) of your choosing - get creative!

How to make them:

Preheat oven to 425 and coat muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.

Mix buttermilk, eggs and oil in a medium bowl.

In seperate bowl combine wheat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and salt.

Pour wet mixture into dry one and mix until just combined.

 photo via Serious Eats NY

photo via Serious Eats NY

Place about 2 tbsp of batter in each muffin tin (the batter will expand to fill about 1/2 the cup).  Place a generous layer of fruit  (about 2 heaping teaspoons) into each cup.  Measure 2 tsp of the sugar in a small bowl, taking pinches with your fingers, sprinkle the sugar over the fruit.  Divide remaining batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Place remaining 2 tspn of sugar into bowl and pinch and sprinkle the sugar over the top!

Bake for 5 minutes.  Rotate muffin tins front to bake to ensure even cooking and bake for another 11-13 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it.  Do NOT overbake.

Cool for 10 minutes if you can bear it, and then remove muffins from the tin.

Eat all the muffins. Or share and become everyone's favorite friend.

 photo via NYTimes

photo via NYTimes