I singlehandedly ate the whole plum kuchen that I made last week. I really enjoyed having something homemade to eat for breakfast with my coffee. And when I got home from work late, tired and hungry, it really hit the spot. In order to continue my enjoyment of home baked goods, I decided to look around for a recipe that would make something good for breakfast (and emergency snacking situations), but that also might be a little healthier and better suited for repeated daily consumption.
In my search, I came across a recipe for Sour Cream Bran Muffins from Gourmet (shocking, I know), which claims to be "the Rolls-Royce of bran muffin recipes." The combination of bran muffins and sour cream sounds a little weird, but overall pretty boring. Their promise is one of digestive health, rather than flash and luxury. Honestly, the Rolls-Royce comparison threw me for a loop. Comparing muffins and cars is not an everyday occurrence, but that is perhaps why it is so effective: I was forced to bake them in order to figure out what all the fuss was about. I encourage you to do the same.
Makes 12 muffins
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar*
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream (I used plain yogurt)
1/4 cup dark molasses*
1/2 cup raisins (I used dried cherries)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup bran
Preheat the oven to 400°
Mix the softened butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream (or yogurt), and molasses (if you are using it). Stir in the raisins (or other dried fruit). Separately, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and bran, and then mix it into the butter mixture. Stir the batter until just combined (it will be lumpy). Spoon the batter into either buttered or paper-lined muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Cool them on a rack.
*Instead of using 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup molasses I used 1/2 brown sugar, which worked well.
I will say this: these are really delicious muffins. They smell great when they are baking - even better than that famous new-car-smell.