Boosting Bran

Cookie dough does wonders for muffins

Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:59 p.m. CDT

(MCT) — Bran muffins are a welcome addition to any breakfast.

The problem with muffins made with bran cereal is that they dry out quickly.

A cup of blueberries adds moistness and flavor to Rebecca Miller Ffrench’s best bran muffins recipe in “Sweet Home: Over 100 Heritage Desserts and Ideas for Preserving Family Recipes” (Kyle, $24.95).

The muffins were good, but made even better by adding a cup of chocolate cookie dough after combining the cereal and warm milk. A cookie dough heavy on cocoa powder and butter produced the best results.

The added dough increases the yield but doesn’t affect the texture.

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BEST BRAN MUFFINS

Makes 12 muffins

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Ingredients:

•  2 cups 100 percent bran cereal, such as Kellogg’s All-Bran

•  1 1/4 cups milk

•  1 large egg, lightly beaten

•  1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

•  1/3 cup brown sugar

•  3 tablespoons honey

•  1 tablespoon baking powder

•  1/2 teaspoon salt

•  1/3 cup granola cereal

•  ¼ cup rolled oats

•  2/3 cup whole-wheat flour

•  1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bran cereal and lukewarm milk. Add cookie dough (recipe below) if desired. Let stand for several minutes to let cereal soften, and then mix.

Add the egg and oil and stir until combined. Add the brown sugar, honey, baking powder and salt. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into prepared tins and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Makes about 40 cookies

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Ingredients:

•  2 cups flour

•  1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

•  1 3/4 cups sugar

•  3/8 teaspoon baking soda

•  1/2 teaspoon salt

•  2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter

•  5 tablespoons milk

•  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add butter and mix until dough forms. Add milk and vanilla and mix until dough is smooth. Mold dough into a roll and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30minutes. Roll 1/4-inch thick. Cut into cookies with cutters. Place 1-inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake eight to 10 minutes.

Add a cup of this dough to the bran muffin recipe at left.

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