Breakfast Muffins

Breakfast Muffins

These Breakfast Muffins are perfect for people who (like me) are awful at eating breakfast. They are small yet filling, cheap and easy to make.
breakfast muffins
One of the things which Steve and I struggled with when I started the Basic Kitchen project was what to do for breakfast. I have to say that breakfast isn’t my strong point at the best of times – it is my least favourite meal of the day, but if I don’t eat it I am miserable.

The solution came from Steve’s all time favourite recipe book, published in 1984 by the New Zealand Girl Guides – not something you can pick up in you local bookshop I’m afraid. One of the good things about using this book for the Basic Kitchen project is that it uses cups, so scales are not required. We did of course have to add a muffin tin to our collection of basic utensils, but it was well worth it considering that they are so cheap to make.
girl guides cook book
The book contains two versions of Bran Muffins – one of which is in the section on cooking for big events and asks you to mix in a ‘large bucket’, the other makes a rather more sensible number of muffins! Over the last few weeks I have tried both recipes, adapted and doctored them depending on what I have in the cupboard, and come up with the version below. The original recipes are at the bottom of the post – a big thank-you to the ladies who originally contributed the recipes to the book, and to the New Zealand Girl Guides who gave me permission to publish them here.

When we made the ‘mix in a bucket’ version a few weeks ago Steve calculated that they cost 7p a muffin. I haven’t calculated how much the recipe below costs, because my pregnancy brain is rebelling!

This recipe is fantastic for using up cereal which is going a little soft – a common occurrence for me since I don’t like breakfast very much! In the last few weeks I have made the muffins with ‘All-bran’ and with bran flakes which already had dried fruit added to it. I found that bran flakes needed a bit of crunching up before using.
bran muffins
Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional – I leave this out if I have included sugary dried fruit such as prunes, if I do add it I use dark sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of bran
  • a handful of dried fruit (something sticky and sweet such as prunes or dates work well)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180oC.

First warm the milk, syrup and butter in a pan and dissolve the bicarb of soda and coffee into it (I just want to drink it at this stage!). Take the pan off the heat and then add the bran, crumbling it in your hands, so that it can begin to soften.

Mix the rest of the dried ingredients together, then mix in the egg and the milk mixture. Stir in the dried fruit.

Bake in the centre of the oven in lined muffin tins for approximately 15 minutes.

When cooked, remove onto a cooling rack. Once cool they can be stored in an airtight tin for up to a week.
Bran muffins

Bran Muffins

breakfast muffins

breakfast muffins

Breakfast muffins

Store-cupboard cereal bar

As promised, here is a healthy-ish snack (‘healthy’ because it is full of oats and nuts which give nice slow-release energy, ‘-ish’ because of the sugar!);  it is based on a flapjack recipe but is slightly different every time (like the leftovers soup!) because it uses up odds & sods in my baking cupboard. So, not only is it healthy-ish but it is also pretty cheap and helps with the tidying up!

In this version I included prunes, pine kernels and the tail-end of some muesli; as mentioned previously I am not very good at breakfast so this recipe is rather good for using up cereal which I haven’t managed to get through.

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Basic Recipe:

  • 6 oz /175g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 6 oz /175g Butter or margerine
  • 1 ½ dessert-spoons Golden Syrup
  • 9 oz /250g Oats
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Dried Fruit and Nuts

Variations/ Substitutions:

The fruit and nuts can be pretty much anything you like; the joy of this recipe is that if you already have a few baking ingredients you don’t need to go shopping because you can use whatever dried fruit & nuts you happen to have in the cupboard. My particular favourite combination is date and walnut; however I have also been known to add sunflower seeds, pecans, crystallised ginger or, as in this example, prunes and pine kernels.

If you have cereal such as muesli that you want to use up I would suggest that you substitute it for about 1/3 of the oats; you may find that you need to then add a few more oats (~ a tablespoon) at the end so that the mixture isn’t too gooey.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 150oC. Line a 11″ x 7″ tin (or similar) with greaseproof paper.

Put the butter, syrup, sugar and ginger into a large saucepan and melt slowly over a low heat. When completely melted stir in all of the dry ingredients.

Transfer to the lined tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 – 45 minutes.

Lick the spoon.

Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before transferring it, still on the greaseproof paper, to a cooling rack. While it is still warm take a knife and score it into portions to make it easier to break up later on.