Chocolate Cranberry Bran Muffins and a case of the blues
There are only two seasons in Seattle. Rainy season and construction season. I think construction season is officially over. Just look at how damp and utterly unsummery the view from the kitchen window is. It’s not even September yet.
I don’t know what else to do besides bake when the weather throws you a wet, muddy curveball like this one and prevents you from going to the park. It calls for something warm and healthy, with a good handful of oats. Well, who am I kidding. A good handful of chocolate, too. Which is how I ended up making chocolate cranberry bran muffins.
Might I even say these were worth it?
This recipe is super versatile. Use chocolate, or nuts, or coconut, or not. Change the dried fruit, or throw in a grated apple, carrot, or even pear. Add pumpkin or squash and different spices. I bet a lot of tasty variations could be made very easily. Oh… and one more note. These are low fat! At least the chocolate-free original version from All Recipes is. :)
Chocolate Cranberry Bran Muffins
1 1/2 cups oat bran or rolled oats
1 cup nonfat milk (or soy milk)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease 18 standard size muffin tins (or use paper liners.) Combine the oats and milk in a bowl and soak for 15 minutes.
In another bowl, stir together the applesauce, sugar, vanilla, and egg. Add in the oat and milk mixture.
Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and gently fold into the applesauce mixture. Be careful not to overmix; a few streaks of flour are fine. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
Fill each muffin tin 3/4 full and bake 18 minutes, or until muffins spring back lightly when tapped and a toothpick comes out clean.
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