COLAZIONE PER LA MIA AMICA MIGLIORE… Oat and Dried Cherry Muffins!

by valentinalucia

So it shall be a bitter-sweet weekend for me. It’s sweet because my bbff (“best black friend forever”) Imani will be coming to visit from DC! Our plan that we’ve had for at least a year will be a reality: to see the final Harry Potter movie together in Boston. That’s why the weekend will be bitter — childhood as we know it is coming to an end. Like all good things, I suppose. I wanted to make something for Imani, even though she’s not a picky eater by any means, but I wanted to have something home-baked for her to have for breakfast if she wants, and thus here’s my creation — Oat and Dried Cherry Muffins!

Like most of the recipes I make, this muffin recipe was quite simple. It was interesting because it calls for oats soaked in buttermilk. This initially confuzzled me, because I’ve never done something like that before, especially not for a muffin. I was wary about what it would do to the batter, and how it would change the texture of the muffin.

To my pleasant surprise, the buttermilk-soaked oats were wonderful. Sure, they didn’t look pretty as I poured them into the batter with the flour, but the soaked oats gave the muffins a very unique, fun texture — moist in the middle and slightly chewy. It’s not your typical muffin texture, which is what I love about it. The dark brown sugar gives the muffins a subtle sweetness, and the dried cherries really add a pop of flavor when you bite into them. I think I could have added some vanilla extract to make the batter somewhat less plain, but the recipes is good nonetheless. I also love how the edges of the muffins have a slight crisp; combined with their chewy centers, both textures make for a wonderful, simple anytime muffin!

Oat and Dried Cherry Muffins

yields 12 regular sized muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup buttermilk*

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking power

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup dried cherries

* I made a cup of buttermilk by using a cup of skim milk and adding one teaspoon of lemon juice.

Preparations:

1. In a bowl, combine oats and buttermilk and let sit for one hour.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and mix.

4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, alternating with the oat mixture. Fold in dried cherries. Do no overmix.

5. Fill the prepared cups two-thirds of the way full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and let muffins sit in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from tin and let rest on wire rack until completely cooled. Store in an air-tight container.

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