Chunky Banana Bran Muffins

Chunky Banana Bran Muffins

div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6CEmcpWvhIE/UPQyPLwOk7I/AAAAAAAABRY/OroHVZJHnfQ/s1600/IMG0820.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="266" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6CEmcpWvhIE/UPQyPLwOk7I/AAAAAAAABRY/OroHVZJHnfQ/s400/IMG0820.JPG" width="400" //a/divbr /My mom always has a batch of muffins ready to go at a moment's notice. Since I have been home on maternity leave, I have had people come over for lunch often and it's always nice to have something homemade for lunch. Since my meal planning resolution was exclusively for dinners however, sometimes lunch ingredients don't always make it into the mix so I'm going to try my mom's trick: freezing muffins.br /br /I made this recipe for Tim and I, but it made a dozen muffins which we can't eat fast enough so I took half of them, and froze them. Now if I have some unexpected visitors, I can easily pull some out of the freezer and it looks like I just made them! Brilliant.br /br /These muffins, from The Barefoot Contessa, were moist and delicious but what I love is that you could probably have a lot of fun with the add-ins, too. Next time, I'm going to add blueberries to the mix instead of raisins for an added punch of antioxidants, colour and flavour. What add-ins would you try?br /br /bChunky Banana Bran Muffins/bbr /Makes 12 muffinsbr /br /uIngredients/ubr /br /ulli1 cup unprocessed wheat bran/lili1 cup buttermilk, shaken/lili1/8 pound (1/4 stick) butter, at room temperature/lili1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed/lili2 large eggs, at room temperature/lili1/4 cup molasses/lili1 tsp grated orange zest/lili1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract/lili1 1/2 cups flour/lili3/4 tsp baking powder/lili1/4 tsp baking soda/lili1/2 tsp salt/lili1 cup raisins/lili1 cup large diced bananas (about 1 large banana)/lili1/2 cup chopped walnuts/li/ulbr /br /uDirections/ubr /br /ulliPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners./liliCombine the bran and buttermilk in a bowl and set aside/liliCream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on a high speed for about five minutes, until light and fluffy/liliWith the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time/liliScrape the bowl then add the molasses, orange zest and vanilla (the mixture will look curdled)/liliAdd the bran-buttermilk mixture and combine/liliIn another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Do not overmix./liliFold in the raisins, banana and walnuts with a rubber spatula/liliWith a large spoon, fill the muffin cups full and bake for 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans./li/uldiviRecipe from The Barefoot Contessa at Home/i/div

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