A friend recently told me about a dark time in his life several years ago and has good- naturedly agreed to let me share it with all (fourteen?) of you.
It was when his daughter was newly born and his wife would get up to nurse her in the middle of the night. Because he couldn't help with the actual feeding, but wanted to be supportive and to eventually take over with the burping, diaper-changing, and settling back to sleep part of the process, he ate to stay awake.
And what he ate were muffins. The kind of muffins sold at a fancy store duplicitous enough to display them still in their tins, housed in a charming, Old World-style cart warmly lit from within.
My friend would fill a bag with a half-dozen muffins and they'd last for a couple of these night shifts. They were easy to grab with eyes half-closed and quiet to eat.
Chocolate chip were his favorite, but as he told me one day when I dug a little deeper: If it was a muffin, he ate it.
There were mood swings and shame and crumbs and weight gain--all in the name of being a good father and husband.
"It wasn't your fault," I reassured him.
Somehow, over the years muffins have grown from palm-sized to skull-sized, lugging around a meal's worth of calories, fats, and sugars in their own unsightly muffin tops.
But there's no reason this handy baked good can't redeem its wholesomeness and still remain entirely desirable during the daylight and the witching hours.
This one's for you, buddy--especially since baby #3 isn't out of the question.
Better bran muffins
Makes 1 dozen Daddy-sized muffins, or 2 dozen minis
Adapted from 101 cookbooks
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1-1/2 cups wheat bran
- 1 cup oat bran
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
- 2 cup full fat plain yogurt (or half kefir and half yogurt)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing your tin
1 (optional) cup of little extras (nuts, unsweetened coconut, golden raisins, chopped dried fruits, etc.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Grease the insides and top edges of your muffin tin with coconut oil, or, if you have the patience and dexterity to separate them, use paper liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, wheat bran, oat bran, salt, baking soda, and sugar.
Whisk together the yogurt (and kefir if using), egg, honey, molasses, and coconut oil in a second larger bowl. Gradually pour in the dry ingredients (plus any of those extras), and mix until just incorporated. This isn't the time or place to work out any aggression.
Use an ice-cream scooper to fill each hole about 3/4 of the way full. Give yourself a gold star if you manage not to blob any batter on the edges.
Bake Daddy-sized muffins for 15-20 minutes and the baby-sized ones for 10-15 minutes.
Set the tin on a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing any muffins.
Spread them with lemon curd (or something equally divine) if eating at the table, or else stash them in your nightstand drawer for when Daddy duty calls.