As we continue our 5th week of Shelter in Place here in the Bay Area, a bit of the panic has worn off and we have all begun to find our new normal. Many of us have celebrated a major holiday or birthday that looked a lot different than in years past. We’ve figured out how to creatively connect with friends and family from a distance — they’ve become our most important meetings of the week. And we’ve got our food delivery service or grocery trips figured out by now and perhaps even secured a highly sought after item like flour or toilet paper.
For those of us with kids, we are also adjusting to the new normal of the kitchen apparently being open 24/7. Shelter in place hasn’t made them require more food, boredom and proximity to the kitchen has. They want to eat ALL the time and because my kids are between the ages of 10 and almost 15, someone is almost always in the kitchen making something. This is awesome, but also requires constant clean up of which they are still developing their skills! 🙂
One way to keep ahead of the mess and provide an easy and healthy snack for everyone is to keep muffins on hand. Even more satisfying than pulling muffins from the freezer, is baking a fresh batch on a whim.
Years ago, my mom must have felt the same way because I can hardly remember a time when this muffin batter was not in the refrigerator, ready to be scooped and baked by one of us kids. I have no idea where the original recipe came from- maybe the side of a cereal box, a newspaper clipping, or a neighbor’s recipe index card- but in my family, it comes from our family recipe book my mom made each of us kids many years ago. It calls for Crisco- so you can imagine which decade it is from. I replace it with unsalted butter 100% of the time. I’ve skipped the raisins before, but they add a much needed sweetness to the muffin. I’ve used pecans instead of walnuts, and have even substituted raisin bran cereal for the bran flakes and raisins. One ingredient that is a must, is the All Bran cereal- those dry looking fiber sticks pretending to be cereal? Those ones. They are easily found at your local grocery store as well as Trader Joe’s. And it’s worth buying the whole quart of buttermilk instead of making your own with milk and lemon juice- you use the entire carton for this recipe!
I just put a batch of this muffin batter in the fridge, but not before scooping out enough for everyone to have an afternoon snack. And there’s a good chance that one of us will do the same for tomorrow’s breakfast or mid-morning snack, minus all the dishes and clean up! I hope you make this recipe and it’s a help to you and all of your kitchen scavengers during shelter in place.
Refrigerator Bran Muffins
These muffins are perfect for breakfast or snack anytime of the day. It is so satisfying to scoop out just the right amount of batter when you are craving a fresh muffin- the batter keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator. These muffins also freeze beautifully!
- 5 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 2 ½ cups all purpose white flour
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 3 ¾ All Bran cereal
- 2 cups bran flakes
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
Dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Set aside.
In a very large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl as needed.
Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
Add buttermilk slowly and mix well.
Add soda water slowly and mix well.
Add the following ingredients, mixing well between each addition: white flour, whole wheat flour, salt, all bran, bran flakes, raisins and walnuts.
Pour into an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. Will keep for 2-4 weeks.
When ready to bake a fresh batch of muffins, preheat oven to 400°. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Do not stir down the batter. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tin ¾ full. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.