I'm almost too embarrassed to admit what my kids eat for breakfast. Almost. It's crackers and cream cheese. A lot of them. A while back, we downsized from their much beloved "circle crackers", the tasty but saturated fat laden Ritz crackers to "square crackers", or as is known to the rest of the world, Saltines. And chocolate milk. It's terrible, it's disgusting and yes, oddly delicious.
For a while now, I have been sitting with this new recipe for bran muffins, like the super-fiber kind, not the pretend kind you get at Dunkin Donuts.
I have been putting off trying this recipe because bran muffins have burned me many times before. Each time I try and introduce one of these guys for breakfast, the kids run away screaming. But the rate of cream cheese consumption is really getting out hand so I decided that today was the day to jump in and try a bran recipe one more time.
And you know what? These were actually very good. I almost didn't want to taste them because I know what the other ones tasted like, but these were actually more than okay. Even Josh tasted one. And liked it. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not like he came home from work and I said, "here honey, have a bran muffin". He came home and I said something like, "there's a cupcake on the counter for you". Cupcakes. Always call 'em cupcakes - that's half the battle. Because really, anytime anyone says they baked cupcakes, the other person's response is always, "ooh, cupcakes". You know it's true.
So the original recipe (and there's always an original, because I can't help but fool around with a recipe) can be found here on the Martha Stewart website. The original says that the recipe makes 6 muffins. I don't know what size muffin tins Martha uses, but I used regular sized cupcake tins and I got 11 cupcakes out of it.
Anyway, this is my version:
1 1/2 cups bran flakes
3/4 cup soy milk*
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 cup flour (I didn't have the whole wheat, I would have used it)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
a big handful of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and put cupcake liners in the pan. Crush the bran flakes, but not so much that they are crumbs. Add the soy milk and let it sit for a while, until somewhat mushy. Add oil, sugar and egg and mix well. (I did it by hand, so no washing of the kitchenaid). Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add in the chocolate chips and mix. Fill the cupcake pan with about 2 tablespoons per cupcake section. Bake for about 17 minutes, checking after 15 minutes to see if a toothpick comes out clean. After they cool off, store them in a ziploc bag.
* I think these would come out even better with regular milk. So why did I use soymilk? I'm so glad you asked, because there's a story behind the soymilk and things like this only seem to happen to us.
We went to Shoprite last night, (and when I say we, I mean Josh), and came home with four gallons of milk (we only use Lactaid, one of the kids has some issues and these Lactaid ones last forever and were on sale). Anyway, we were now the proud owners of four gallons of Lactaid milk, one of which decided to spring a leak in one the extremely flimsy, yet lovely yellow shopping bags. It was a small, slow leak, so almost all of the milk was still in the container when we found the problem. So what to do? We didn't wanna throw away a perfectly good container of milk. But where, oh where to put it? In the flower vase? In the cowboy hat? Nooo and besides, where would the bottle caps live if we put the milk in the cowboy hat?
But the milk was leaking and I was panicking. We spotted two empty seltzer bottles and carefully poured the milk into said bottles and put them away. By then, it was almost 11pm and we were falling on our faces so we kind of just sat around on the little blue Ikea chairs at the kiddie table in the kitchen, looking at the other thousand bags that needed to be unpacked.
And then, and I don't remember who said it first, we decided to put chocolate syrup in the seltzer bottles and have the chocolate milk ready for the morning. Genius. We figured it would save a good ten seconds in the morning, what with not having to mix the milk and chocolate together in individual cups. Needless to say, the kids balked at the whole idea that the milk was in the seltzer bottles and why was it already chocolatey and eww, it tastes funny and how come you went to Shoprite without us. And on and on.
Will we ever learn our lesson? No. And you know how I know that we never will - because tomorrow morning we will attempt to pass off these bran muffins as chocolate chips cupcakes, a replacement for their beloved cream cheese and crackers. I hope the cupcakes don't get hard over night because I'm willing to bet one of us will be getting one in the head at around 6:30 tomorrow morning.
Oh, and back to why I used soymilk when I clearly had three gallons of undoctored milk in the fridge. They were in the basement fridge and I was too darn lazy to go down and get one. I briefly contemplated using the chocolate milk that was rejected just because it was a different bottle, but I don't know, it just didn't seem right. Passing off bran muffins as cupcakes is one thing, playing around with their beloved chocolate milk is just wrong. "And if loving chocolate milk is wrong, then I don't wanna be right" - or something like that, from some country song from the '70's. Why do I even know that? I think that means it's time for bed.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)