When I was in my early 20s I worked at a restaurant that made dense, granular bran muffins with tacky tops from the sweet honey. They were tasty but squishy raisins ruined them. I ate the muffins but picked out every last dried grape.
Fast forward twenty years and in my more elderly state, I still love bran muffins and hate raisins. My mom’s recipe doesn’t have raisins, plus the batter keeps in the refrigerator for up to six weeks so you can make a fresh batch every few days.
I wondered if they could possibly be improved upon and all I came up with is mixing in mini chocolate chips to the batter and topping them with sliced almonds and a drizzle of honey. (The muffins with almonds and honey are best only if you eat them the day you bake them. Otherwise, the almonds get soft.) But the chocolate chips are definitely a delicious addition.
- 2 cups wheat bran
- 4 cups All Bran cereal , like Kelloggs
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable shortening , NOT butter-flavored
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- optional 3-4 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
- optional topping sliced almond and honey
- In a large bowl, pour boiling water over wheat bran and All Bran cereal. Stir and set aside to soften for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin tins or line with cupcake papers.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream sugar and shortening together.
- Add eggs and buttermilk.
- Fold the softened bran mixture into the shortening mixture.
- In a separate large bowl stir together the flour, soda, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the bran batter, stirring just until flour is mixed in. The batter should be a little lumpy. Don't overmix or the muffins will have a tough texture.
- If using mini chocolate chips, stir in now.
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full of batter.
- If using, top with almonds and drizzle with a little honey.
- Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Batter will store in tightly sealed container in refrigerator for up to six weeks.
All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets