Friday, November 9, 2012

Customizable Oatmeal Muffins

Since the weekend is upon us, I thought it was a good time to share another breakfast idea.  Where I live, we have some nasty winter weather predicted in the next couple of days.  So, if I'm going to be snowed in, then I might as well get some baking done.  On the agenda:  chocolate chip cookies, more homemade bread and rolls, and these muffins.  Mind you, I don't necessarily enjoy baking.  There are too many rules.  For things to turn out well, you really need to follow the recipe.  That's where it all goes south for me.  I hate following recipes.  Which is what I love about cooking - I can throw in a little of this and a little of that, and when it tastes good, you're done!  Then why am I going to spend the weekend baking, you ask?  Well, it seems a good thing to do on a snowy weekend, and it's not like I never bake.  At the very least, I make snickerdoodle cookies for my dad every year, for Christmas.  It's his favorite cookie, and no one else makes them for him.  And, every now and then, I make quick breads or bars, but not enough where my poor husband gets spoiled!  He definitely has a sweet tooth that doesn't get much satisfaction, but I have a plan to remedy that.  My daughter is becoming quite the baker, and she likes it!  Maybe if I'm lucky, I can get her to make the chocolate chip cookies.  Now that would be awesome!

As for these muffins, I was looking for something a little different than the normal variety.  I knew I wanted something with oatmeal, for the health factor and they'd be more filling.  I searched far and wide before finding a suitable recipe to use as a base.  The reviews looked good, however it was a very basic oatmeal recipe with nothing frilly.  I knew, though, that I could customize it by adding just a few things and have something really tasty.  I was not disappointed!

Here's your Cast of Characters.

2 Cups of milk
2 Cups of quick cooking oats
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup sugar
4 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup dried cherries
1/3 Cup granola or cranberry pecan mix
2 Teaspoons vanilla
2 Teaspoons cinnamon
1 Teaspoon nutmeg

In a small bowl, mix oats and milk.  Let soak 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease muffin cups or line with paper liners.

Rough chop your cherries, and cranberries and nuts.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together egg and oil.  Stir into oatmeal mixture, along with all of the other ingredients.  Stir well to combine.  Batter will be thick and lumpy.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full. 

Bake in preheated oven 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

They should be a nice, golden brown.

Even though I ate the first one warm, straight from the oven, with butter melting, they were actually better the next day, cold without butter or anything.

Makes 24 - 36 large muffins.


*Note:  You can switch the dried berries up and use what appeals to you.  Also, if you want a little change with the cranberries, use orange juice in place of the milk.