When I was in my early 20s I worked at a restaurant that made dense, granular bran muffins with tacky tops from 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 and 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 adding mini chocolate chips and sliced almonds with a drizzle of honey. The ones with almonds and honey are best if you eat them the day you bake them. Otherwise, the almonds get soft. Then you might as well have added soggy raisins.
2 cups 100% bran (I used 100% wheat bran.)
4 cups Kellogs All Bran
2 cups boiling water
3 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
4 beaten eggs
1 quart buttermilk
5 cups flour
5 teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional add-in: 3-4 cups mini chocolate chips
Optional topping: sliced almonds and honey
- In a large bowl, pour boiling water over 100% bran and Kellogs All Bran. Stir and set aside to soften for approximately 30 minutes.
- Grease muffin tins or line with cupcake liners.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- 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 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 adding almonds and honey, top the cups with almonds and drizzle with a little honey.
- Bake at 400° for 10 to 15 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Batter will store in refrigerator for up to six weeks.