Grit Blogs > Country Cooking

All-Morning Muffins

Country CookingGrandma Mallory would have scoffed at my idea of making protein-packed muffins that could serve as a breakfast by itself. After all, in her day, breakfast had to be more than a couple of muffins – the men worked all day in the fields and women cooked, cleaned, laundered and gardened. For her, muffins were something to make out of white flour and white sugar as an alternative to the usual biscuits, and served alongside country ham or bacon, fried eggs, and fried potatoes (hash browns would have been “too fancy”).

But those folk didn’t have to rush out to the fields or the garden by a specific time, like us modern workers who have to punch in or be there on the computer by 8:30 or whatever. Breakfast is a challenge for me – I don’t want to eat early but I don’t want to skip it. Some days instant oatmeal will work, and even I get tired of one of my favorite foods, Kellogg’s brand Pop-Tarts (there goes my reputation).

So I decided to make a single-meal muffin that would have protein, fiber, flavor and enough sweetness to keep me out of the Pop-Tart box. One thing I learned long ago that if you’re a food blogger, you have to get used to wasting food. This was a hard lesson for me. I come from people who do not waste anything. Even Grandma Mallory would break an egg and then run her finger around the inside of the shell to get every bit of albumen. Then the shells were crushed and fed to the chickens–a strange, cannibalistic cycle I can’t explain.

I’ve thrown out enough muffins to tell you this is the right recipe. It’s not your typical easy-muffin recipe, but they are very good. They’re not a “dessert” or “snack” to me–they’re a complete breakfast.

All-Morning Muffins

Makes 12 medium-size muffins

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup soy flour*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flaxseed*
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup finely chopped dried fruit

(I used dried cherries from Door County, Wisconsin, but chopped raisins also work well.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With an electric mixer, blend sugar, honey and butter until smooth. Add eggs and mix well.

In a separate container, dissolve the baking soda in the cream.

In a large bowl, put in both flours, salt, and wheat germ. Stir to mix. Add to this in about thirds, alternating, the sugar/honey/butter mixture and the cream mixture. Stir just until moistened each time.

Add flaxseed, walnuts and fruit and stir just enough to mix. Spoon into muffin tins about 3/4 full.

Bake on top rack for about 16 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out without batter. Serve warm, or when fully cooled, store in a tightly-covered container.

Cooking notes:
Unfortunately, substitutions, such as milk instead of cream, margarine instead of butter, or egg whites instead of whole eggs, do not work well in this recipe. The chopped fruit can be any type, but needs to be a dried fruit, like raisins.

Soy flour tends to make the sides and bottom of the muffins look almost burned because it browns deeper than all-purpose flour, so do not be alarmed if you look through the oven window and they seem too dark.

*I used Bob’s Red Mill Soy Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Organic Raw Whole Brown Flaxseed, which is found at most stores, but any brand will do.

Follow me on Twitter @chuckmall