Steel-Cut Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Muffins

 oatmeal-muffins

Back to school means MUFFINS!!  When I am really in the running for “Mom of the Year” award, it is because I took a couple of hours on Sunday to make something absolutely delicious for breakfast.  Something homemade that is easy enough to eat on the go, or warmed up in the microwave with some melted butter.  Unfortunately it doesn’t happen as much as they would like (or I would for that matter).  I had every intention of making some fresh scones today, but it is now close to 9:00pm, and that didn’t happen.

The other week though, thanks to Bob’s Red Mill – I did have an opportunity to apply for the award, after making these scrumptious morsels.  The oatmeal and coconut sugar did not disappoint…although the star of the show was the mini-chocolate chips.  Both girls loved the muffins, I didn’t even have to remind them to eat the muffins for breakfast – which is when I know they are a total hit.

So this year, why not make waking up for school something to look forward to – I know it is not time for resolutions just yet, but this is going on my list – to bake something at least once a month – which takes care of an entire week of breakfasts. Then I know that at least 25% of the month, I can look forward to that red carpet award ceremony…

Please note: As a Team Stonyfield ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions about Stonyfield Farm’s products and Bob’s Red Mill products are always my own.

Ingredients

Preparation

To cook the steel-cut oats, boil 3 cups of water, then add 1 cup steel-cut oats with 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  When the oats are done, stir in 1/4 cup coconut sugar.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack positioned in the upper third. Oil, spray or butter 12 muffin cups.

Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup coconut sugar. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Quickly stir in the dry ingredients with a whisk or a spatula. Do not beat, just mix, stirring up from the bottom until you can no longer see flour. A few lumps are fine. Fold in the cooked oats and the chocolate chips.

Spoon into muffin cups, filling them to just below the top. Sprinkle coconut sugar on top if desired.  Place in the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. Cool on a rack, or serve warm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: steel-cut-oatmeal-and-chocolate-chip-muffins

oatmeal-muffins-2

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Fruit-Filled Scuffins

Scuffins

I am not even sure what this are called, but I love taking two baked goods and combining them.  Not that I have done it often, but I am dying to create my own.  Ever since I posted these, I have been racking my brain for what other fusions I could make.  For some reason I have been in this complete brain lock.  I can’t think of anything!  I know when I least expect it, something will come to me. I would like to know how someone thought of the cronut — just brilliant.  Come on, who wouldn’t love a croissant that ran into a donut.

So needless to say, I was super excited when my good friend emailed me about the Scuffins that she found in the New York Times.  For some reason I keep wanting to call them Scruffins, but they are a combination of scones and muffins – so there you have it. These sounded amazing, but seriously, these were really made for me.  As I stood in the pantry trying to decide which type of jam I would use, I suddenly felt like this is what I had been waiting for.  I ended up using some Damson Plum Jam and Strawberry Vanilla Jam.  Both excellent choices.

They came out wonderfully – they were slightly heavier than muffins, though slightly lighter than scones.  My daughter was super excited about having breakfast treats, and rationed them out.  She warmed them up for a few seconds in the microwave each morning, and she said they were great.  So, there goes another one – there must be more – what about a cookcake? A cookie meets a cupcake?  Or maybe it should be called a cakie?

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 ounces), plus 2 tablespoons for buttering muffin cups
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (4 1/2 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal or wheat germ (1 ounce)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown or raw sugar (2 ounces), plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup fruit jam, conserves, preserves or fruit butter (do not use jelly or marmalade)

Preparation

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave or over very gentle heat. Using a pastry brush, butter the cups of a standard-size (3 1/2-ounce-capacity) 12-cup muffin tin. Let each coat of butter cool, then apply another coat; continue until the 2 tablespoons are all used.

In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter, add to dry ingredients and mix with a fork until just combined.
In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk and cream. Add to dry ingredients and mix to combine (the dough will be quite sticky).

Reserving about a quarter of the dough for topping, scoop 2 tablespoons dough into each cup. Using the back of a spoon, press dough gently down into the cups. The dough will move up the sides, and there should be a shallow well in each dough cup. Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t come all the way up to the top; there should be about 1/2 inch of space between the top of the dough and the rim of the cup.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon jam into each well. Using your fingers, pinch remaining dough into small clumps and scatter evenly over the jam in each cup, making a bumpy topping. Sprinkle sugar over the tops.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned. Let cool in the pan on a rack; run a blade around the sides of each scuffin before turning out.
Yield 12 scuffins

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Fruit-Filled Scuffins

Overnight Oats with Coconut and Chocolate

Overnight Oats

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Some say that eating breakfast is almost as important as exercising.  I am not sure how people get away with not eating breakfast in the morning, but I know it is common.  I have a hard time eating before I exercise in the morning, but when I am done – I am usually famished.  I also know that the better night sleep I get, the hungrier I am in the morning.  If I don’t get lot of sleep the night before, I am not usually very hungry, but then throughout the day I feel like I need to eat – just to get a little extra bit of energy.

So what do I eat for breakfast?  It definitely varies – I love a good bowl of cold cereal in the morning, or a nice bowl of hot oatmeal – and lately I have been adding a delicious hard-boiled egg to the mix – and with a bowl of cereal, that really gets me through the morning well.  On Friday I was walking by someone’s office, and happened to notice she was eating something out of a mason jar.  I didn’t mean to be nosy, but when it comes to food, I usually can’t hold back – so I asked her what she was eating.  Overnight Oats.  She quickly explained what she had done – and I was in awe.  Basically you just need a base of quick oats and milk (coconut milk works perfectly), and the rest of all up to what you like.  You can add fruit, yogurt, sweeteners, spices – the sky is the limit.

I did a quick search on Bing to see what I could find – and wow, this is all over the food blogs.  I had no idea!  I tried hard to get it out of my head until after work – I had way too much to do on Friday to be distracted, but it made my day knowing I had this to look forward to.  On my way home that day, I was spent.  It was a long week – too long – all I wanted to do was sit on the bus and do nothing.  Then I remembered my little project – and I created a great recipe in my head – the focus was on coconut and chocolate.

I whipped this up in less than 5 minutes, and on Saturday morning, I couldn’t wait to dig in.  It was better than I could have imagined – and since I prefer my oatmeal to be warm, I just stuck it in the microwave for a minute, and it was perfect.  I have a new favorite breakfast treat – thank goodness I walked down that hallway on Friday.  Which leads me to wonder…what other breakfast treats are hiding in the hallways at work?  I may have just found a new way to get a little exercise on Friday mornings, while focusing on the most important meal of the day…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla flavored coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean seeds
  • 1 ounce grated dark chocolate

Preparation

Add all ingredients to a 1/2 pint canning jar. Shake the jar, and place in fridge overnight. In the morning you will have a healthy breakfast waiting for you!
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Overnight Oats with Coconut and Chocolate