Tuesdays with Dorie: Great Grains Muffins

I can’t believe it’s been more than two years since I first joined the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. You’d think that with that much time, I’d have thought way in advance about which recipe I’d want to pick when my turn came around. But no, I hemmed and hawed for weeks; the decision wasn’t easy. Should I go with a rich and chocolate-y dessert? Should I pick a cookie, always popular with everyone? I love a good bread pudding–how about that? Maybe a buttery, dense bundt cake that would go great with ice cream?

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n the end, I picked the humble but wholesome Great Grains Muffin, something that had caught my eye a while back. While all of the other options sounded wonderful, these muffins felt the most “right” for me. I started my blog three years ago with the intention of documenting healthy, wholesome and delicious foods that reflected my high-fiber, low-fat diet. Things that make my tummy happy. These muffins are exactly that–chock full of whole grains, dried fruit and heart-healthy nuts.

If you follow my blog, you know I always make small changes. For these, I didn’t use any of the white flour–I just used white whole wheat flour. And instead of 8 tablespoons of butter, I used 7 tablespoons of Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend. I replaced the maple syrup with raw honey. And finally, I added three tablespoons of ground flax seeds.

These were perfect in every way for me. I loved the nutty flavor and the light sweetness. I loved the crunchy grittiness of the cornmeal. And I loved the plump raisins–they added a lovely chewy texture.

I hope everyone liked these as much as I did!

Recipe: Great Grains Muffins
From Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Makes 12 muffins

Made with three different grains and plenty of buttermilk, eggs and maple syrup, these have character, great texsture and a heartiness that satisfies without a trace of heaviness. I like to add quartered prunes to the mix, but the muffins are also good with raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, a few chopped pecans or nothing additional at all. Ditto when it comes to spreads–they’re great with butter, cream cheese, a slice of cheddar, some jam or plain.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup quartered moist, plump prunes or other dried fruits ( cut up as necessary) and/or chopped nuts (optional)
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cornmeal, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, maple syrup, eggs and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough–if the batter is a bit lumpy, that’s fine. Stir in the fruit or nuts, if you’re using them. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully lift each muffin out of its mold and onto the rack to cool.