Cran-Apple Bran Muffins

I was recently in Texas for the Texas Music Educators Convention, and convention food… well, it’s gross.  That being said, I did enjoy a Starbucks’ Apple Bran Muffin one morning and while sitting waiting for people to stop by decided that I’d like to try my hand at them.  I believe that their muffin has cranberries in it, so went online in search of a Cranberry Apple Bran Muffin recipe and found one on wikibooks.org.

I need to eat healthier, and decided this would be a good recipe to attempt to doctor health-wise, so here is the recipe I found with a few heart-healthy and calorie conscious modifications.

Two disclaimers:  1)  there will be a lot of dirty dishes, and 2) we’re still working through a Sam’s Club size bag of Craisins, thus all the recipes with cranberries.

CRAN-APPLE BRAN MUFFINS

  • 3/4 c. natural bran
  • 3/4 c. skim milk
  • 1 1/3 c. wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped apples (mcintosh or jonathan)
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries

Rehydrate cranberries by measuring them into a bowl of hot water and set aside.  Combine bran and milk, stir and set aside. Peel, core and dice apples into a bowl of water with a splash of lemon juice (to prevent browning).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.  In mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, applesauce and egg.  Mix well and add the milk soaked bran.  Slowly add dry ingredients.  Drain craisins and apples well and add to batter.

Here’s the part I learned the hard way:  DON’T USE PAPER MUFFIN LINERS!  Because there is virtually no oil in this recipe, the majority of the muffin will be stuck to the paper and you’ll be scraping your beautiful, healthy muffins off the liners with whatever utensil is at your disposal.  (Or, if you’re my brother, you’ll eat the majority of the liner while trying to bite the muffin off the paper.)  Rather, generously grease muffin tins with cooking spray and fill each cup about 3/4 of the way (an ice cream scoop works great for this).

Bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took 20) or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in tins for 10 minutes before removing and placing on cooling racks.  After muffins are completely cooled, store in an airtight container.

Makes about 18 muffins.

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