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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

I love weekend mornings when we have nothing on our schedule that forces us to get up at an ungodly hour.

Even more, I love it when I'm alert enough to get up while the rest of my family continues to sleep.  It gives me a chance to putter around in my kitchen, making breakfast while they sleep peacefully.

This morning was one of those mornings.....I was up and at 'em at 7:20, waaaaaay before anyone else.

I did not turn any music on, because I did not want grumpy, cranky people coming down the stairs complaining that I woke them up.  But I'll give you a suggested playlist, just in case you do your baking at a more reasonable hour! 

Today's Playlist
  • "Lost Child"........Social Distortion
  • "In One Ear"......Cage The Elephant
  • "Let It Be Me".......Social Distortion
  • "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky"......Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
  • "Ballad Of A Lonely Man"..........Mike Ness
  • "Complete Control"......The Clash
  • "Stop Breaking Down".........The White Stripes
  • "What Ever Happened?"........The Strokes
  • "Why Don't You Get A Job?".........The Offspring
  • "Only In Dreams".........Weezer
I adapted this recipe from Hershey's "Homemade Gifts & Candies"

Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins (makes about 10 large muffins)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar,  packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • large crystal or sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease or line a muffin tin with paper baking cups.
Gather your ingredients.

Why do I always gather my ingredients before I start cooking?  1. It saves time while I'm cooking because I don't have to stop what I'm doing to forage through the cabinets looking for an ingredient that is playing hide-and-seek and 2. I could be wrong and think I have all the ingredients, when I really don't.

Or some variation of the above, like having an ingredient but not having enough.  Which is what happened today.  I had the brown sugar, but I forgot that my daughter had baked chocolate chip cookies earlier this week.  I did not have as much brown sugar as I needed.

So what did I do?  I made my own.

If it were flour or vegetable oil that I needed, I would have been out of luck.  But fortunately, brown sugar is one ingredient that you can make on your own.
All you need is sugar and molasses.
Just add one tablespoon of molasses to 1 cup of sugar.
Stir with a fork, and.....
.....voila'!  Instant brown sugar.

(And for the record, if you don't have buttermilk, you can make that yourself as well.  Use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar plus enough milk to equal 1 cup.)

Now back to our muffin recipe.

After you've gathered your ingredients,.......

Stir together oats and buttermilk in a small bowl.  Let stand for 20 minutes.
Stir together oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl.
Add oats mixture, .........
stirring well.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Add to oats mixture, ...............

blending just until moistened. 

Fill muffin cups with batter.

Take your sanding sugar (or large-crystal sugar).....

..........and sprinkle the tops of your muffins.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Serve warm or cool.

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