oatmeal french breakfast muffins
Two things occurred to me recently:
1) My mornings would be a whole lot easier if I had some kind of grab and go breakfast to take with me as I scurry out the door five minutes late each day, and since buying a weekly supply of such things is expensive and not always very tasty, there is no reason why I shouldn’t make something myself on Sundays.
2) French breakfast muffins are delicious!! Have you had one before? I have only had them from one local bakery, and while they are really tasty there, they are also ginormous and probably filled with lots of bad stuff (not to mention the thick coating of butter and cinnamon on the top of each boat/muffin), and I realized I could easily recreate the same tastiness in my own (cheaper and less guilt-inducing) way.
So, with these two revelations in mind, I kind of had an idea for what I wanted my Sunday muffins to be like, but no recipe to match. I wanted them to have a moist, sweet quality, but no so sickeningly sweet as many bakery muffins; I wanted to be able to give them some substance with oats and whole wheat flour; and I wanted them to have that all-important french breakfast muffin quality, the cinnamon sugar top!
I ended up working from this basic recipe for oatmeal muffins, with some tweaks. The muffins are sweet, but with a little tang from the buttermilk, and the oats and whole wheat flour give it texture and structure without making it seem like a health muffin. And to make it more like a french breakfast muffin, there’s a touch of cinnamon and vanilla in the batter, as well as a light dusting of cinnamon sugar on the top. Most days this week they have seemed like the only good thing about 7 am, and making these will definitely be a more frequent part of my Sunday routine! One bowl, 15 minutes prep, and you’ve got a dozen mini breakfasts ready to go for the week.
Oatmeal French Breakfast Muffins
Adapted from Gourmet via Epicurious
Makes 12 muffins
1 cup oats (regular rolled oats will give you more texture, quick oats will give a little less)
1/2 cup buttermilk + 1/2 cup regular milk, or 1 full cup buttermilk if you like a stronger buttermilk flavor
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 cup whole wheat or regular flour, or a mixture of the two
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, raisins, apples, cranberries, or other add-in of your choice
Topping: 1 T melted butter, and 1 T caster sugar plus 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the oats and your milk/buttermilk and stir. Let them soak together a little bit while you get your other ingredients out. Melt your stick of butter or margarine in the microwave.
Next, add your brown sugar, egg, vanilla and melted butter to the bowl and stir. When it’s combined, add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and stir well.
Fold in your add-ins, if using, and then divide batter evenly into 12 greased or lined muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
When the muffins come out of the oven, melt your 1 T of butter in a small bowl, and mix your 1 T fine granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. When the muffins are still hot but handleable, brush them with some melted butter, and then dip them one at a time in the cinnamon sugar bowl. Place on a wire rack or plate to cool and enjoy!