Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Emilee's Bran Muffins and/or Pancakes

That's a weird title for a food, right? After all, how can something be a recipe for both bran muffin and pancake. I wondered the same thing when Emilee gave me this recipe for bran muffins and then told me that you could make pancakes with the batter too. In fact, she said, she liked them even better as pancakes than as muffins.

Let me tell you this: These were perfectly delicious bran muffins. They were honestly very good. But they were some kind of butt kicking pancakes. They were so good, in fact, that we got nary a photograph before they were all consumed. They were so good, in fact, that I will tell you a story. I burned one batch of the pancakes on one side. When I finally sat down to eat there were no un-burned pancakes left and I was starving, so I carefully cut off the burned side of the pancakes and ate the rest. About this time Emma finished her pancakes and headed over to my lap for more. All that was left were the thin burned sides that I had sliced off--no syrup, no nothing--just a burned sliver of a pancake. Emma ate all three. I thought she'd take a bite, make a face, and leave the rest. This is, after all, what she often does with perfectly good, completely unburned foods that I make. Not only did she not turn her nose up at the burned pancake slivers, she cleaned my plate, leaving only a couple bites at the very end.

This revelation--that muffin batter could become pancakes--it might forever transform my world. Because it might work with other muffin recipes as well. Wow. The possibilities. Three minute cook times vs. 20 minute cook times. Hopefully my head doesn't explode.

There is one drawback to these muffins as pancakes, which is this:  In pancake incarnation, these are already quite sweet so you can forgo the syrup and eat them plain or with fruit or with a wee dusting of powdered sugar for looks' sake (not a problem).  However, I should warn you that your older children might expect syrup on a pancake no matter how sweet you tell your children it already is. This makes for a doubling up on the sugar, which is disturbing to me. But not, I guess disturbing enough to keep me from making these next time. I'll try to get a picture when I do, although there are no guarantees because I value my fingers too much to place them in the path of hungry, bran-pancake crazed children's mouths.

Emilee's Bran Muffins and/or Pancakes
Makes about 24
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cost: $1.45 (that's about $.05 per muffin)
(cereal: .25, sugar: .25, butter: .25, eggs: .20, buttermilk: .30, flour: .20)

1 1/2 C All Bran cereal
1 C hot water
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
2 C buttermilk
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 C flour

Combine All Bran and hot water. Let it sit for a couple minutes and then mash it up until it's a paste.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, buttermilk, and baking soda. Then add your bran mixture. Then add your flour. (Note: Should you forget to add the flour like I did the first time around and just put the other mixture into your pancake skillet, you will get something a lot like bran pudding, which sounds horrible and which seems so wrong on every level and yet which was pretty amazing and which I haven't quite stopped thinking about yet.)

If making muffins, fill your muffin tin and bake at 375 fo 15-20 minutes.

If making pancakes, just ladle the batter onto a hot skillet and make as your would any other pancake.

Note: I recently learned that you can keep this batter for up to 6 weeks in your fridge. Check out this post for more details if you wish.


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