Wake Up and Get Moving Muffins

Very strong coffee, bran cereal, molasses, raisins (figs or dates are good too), apple and wheat flour are baked into these tender muffins. They will really wake you up and get you moving. You see where I’m going here, right? All puns and infantile jokes aside, these are really tasty muffins and better for you than a regular berry muffin with a mountain of streudel on top.

This recipe makes 24 muffins. You could cut it in half, but why would you? Wrap and freeze them for a quick on-the-go meal.

Wake Up and Get Moving Muffins
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Makes 2 dozen muffins (a few less if you use tall tulip liners). Wrap individually and freeze for a quick breakfast.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup very strong hot coffee (I bring ½ cup freshly ground coffee and 1¼ cups water to a boil, let it simmer for a few minutes, and then put it through a fine strainer.)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (or butter, if you prefer)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups All-Bran original cereal
  • 1½ cups all purpose white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa (Optional. Mostly for color.)
  • 1 cup raisins (or chopped dates or figs)
  • 1 medium apple, grated (leave the skin on, but stop grating before you get to the core!)
  • butter and sparkling sugar if desired to add to the tops of warm muffins
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Prepare muffin pans by lining them with paper liners.
  3. Stir coconut oil (or butter, chunked into small pieces) into hot coffee until melted.
  4. Stir in buttermilk and molasses.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until completely combined.
  6. Add bran cereal and let it soak while you prepare the dry ingredients.
  7. In a large bowl, combine white flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa. Add raisins (or chopped dates or figs) and grated apple, and toss to coat.
  8. Pour liquid ingredients into bowl and fold or stir gently just until it is mostly incorporated. A few wisps of flour showing is fine. Do NOT overbeat.
  9. Spoon into prepared muffin liners, almost to the top. If you are using tall tulip-type liners, fill a little higher than the level of the pan.
  10. Bake standard size for approximately 16-18 minutes, or tall size for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of a muffin.
  11. Move the pan of muffins onto a cooling rack and, if desired, brush with soft butter and sprinkle with sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar. Then remove from pan and set muffins on a rack to cool completely.

Ingredients. (The cocoa is mostly for color, so it’s optional.)

Make very strong coffee. I boil freshly ground beans and water, then put it through a fine sieve.

Combine all the liquids, add cereal, and let it soak for a few minutes.

Grate the apple, skin and all. (No core or seeds, of course.)

Toss raisins and apples in the dry ingredients

Stir gently until there are just a few wisps of flour in batter

Fill ’em up!

Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar if desired. (You can see that I skipped the cocoa in this batch.)

Seriously, how can you resist this??

Love you, but gotta go now. Next up: green stuff for St. Paddy’s Day.

Lorinda

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread

The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is irresistible to me, and I just love getting both flavors in one cookie. There are endless ways to put these two doughs together, and I’ll show you a few, but I’m sure you will come up with some fun ideas of your own.

Yes, you’ll have to make two different batches of cookie dough, but it really is a very easy dough to make, and it won’t take you long at all. If you’re wondering how many this will make, I just don’t know what to tell you. It depends on whether you’re making the three layer cookies or the chain cookies or . . .
Let’s just say it makes a generous amount, at least 4 dozen.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread
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Two easy batches of shortbread cookie dough can be combined in countless ways to make creative and delicious cookies.
Ingredients
  • PEANUT BUTTER DOUGH:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon milk or water
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • CHOCOLATE COOKIE DOUGH:
  • 1½ cups butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon water or coffee
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • To decorate: your choice of chopped peanuts, sprinkles, chocolate icing or ganache
Instructions
  1. PEANUT BUTTER DOUGH:
  2. In a large mixing bowl (a sturdy stand mixer is best) beat butter, peanut butter, egg yolk, vanilla, and milk (or water) together well.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and cornstarch and beat on low until incorporated.
  4. Gradually add the flour. This is a very stiff dough! It will appear crumbly, but with thorough beating, should come together. If it doesn't, drizzle in a small amount of milk or water.
  5. Wrap and refrigerate dough. Scrape bowl out and use for the chocolate dough.
  6. CHOCOLATE COOKIE DOUGH
  7. In large bowl, beat butter, egg yolk, vanilla, and water (or coffee) together well.
  8. Add the powdered sugar and cornstarch and beat on low until incorporated.
  9. Combine the flour and cocoa and gradually add, mixing until dough forms. If necessary, drizzle in a very small amount of water or coffee.
  10. Wrap and refrigerate both doughs for 30 minutes. If you refrigerate the dough longer, it will become very stiff. If that happens, let it rest at room temperature until manageable.
  11. Heat oven to 350 F.
  12. Working with a small piece of one color at a time, roll ¼ inch thick on lightly floured surface or between sheets of parchment. Bake on ungreased baking sheet or on parchment for approximately 10 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your cookies. They should just be beginning brown on the bottom. Here are some ideas:
  13. Try using two different sizes of the same shape of cutter. If using hearts, cut large hearts out of both doughs, then use a smaller heart cutter in the center of half of the large hearts. Gently press a shape with the center removed onto a solid shape. Once baked, fill the center with chocolate ganache or peanut butter icing. You can also marble the colors, roll, and cut. Or try putting a small heart on a large one, topping with a dab of peanut butter, and covering with another large heart, creating a small raised heart in the center. Cover cooled cookie with icing or ganache. Or cut small hearts out of the center of large hearts to create heart "frames". cut one on the side, and slip the other through the cut. Press lighlty for a 2 heart "chain".

Some of the ideas I tried:

Triple layer cookies. (Okay, if you count the peanut butter I guess they’re quadruple layered.)

A layer of peanut butter dough, a small chocolate heart, a dollop of peanut butter, and top with another layer of peanut butter dough. Or reverse the colors.

See? This one was chocolate, a small peanut butter center, peanut butter, and chocolate.

Drizzle or cover with ganache or chocolate icing, and sprinkle with chopped peanuts

Or, these are fun!

A solid bottom with a cutout top. Once cool, fill with ganache or add a candy center

You can also link two cutout hearts together:

Or . . . the easiest idea of all is to simply combine the two doughs to create a marbled effect:

So many ways to play with this dough, and I’ll bet if you have littles in the kitchen, they will get very creative!

This is it for Valentine’s Day recipes for the year, and you know what that means, right? Everything green is coming your way soon.

Lorinda