Sunday, June 18, 2006

He couldn't keep his grubby little hands off of them

Sour Cream-Bran Muffins
The Gourmet Cookbook Copyright 2004

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup robust molasses (not blackstrap) I used 'full flavor'
½ cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup wheat bran (unprocessed, not cereal)

Put rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter muffin cups.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 mintues. Beat in egg, sour cream, and molasses. Stir in raisins.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and bran in another bowl. Add to sour cream mixture and stir until just combined (batter will be lumpy). Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling them two0thirds full. Bake until golden brown and springy to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn muffins out onto rack to cool.

Makes 12 muffins.

I've made so many muffins, it's hard to remember which ones are in the category of 'really, really good'. Definitely Lemon-Ricotta Muffins and Easy Spicy Apple Sauce Muffins. There are a few other great ones that I can't recall off the top of my head but I'm adding this recipe to that category. The cookbook authors claim these are better if you make them two days ahead but I defy anyone to bake these and not immediately dig into them. I can't tell you how many times I've opened up the container just to take a whiff of these muffins, they smell so good. The flavor is predominately molasses and I don't know how to describe it but these just taste so 'smooth'. I'm definitely, definitely going to make these again.

I haven't used this cookbook as much as I thought I would. The lack of photos and the poor choice of font color combined with their penchant for using expensive and/or hard-for-me-to-find ingredients have led to it's lack of use. I have to force myself to sitdown and take a closer look at this book.

Question of the Day: Do you prefer cookbooks with pictures or don't they matter to you?


DancesInGarden said...

I like them with pictures, but I don't like if they picture something differently than what the recipe will produce. Not garnishes, but sometimes I look at the ingredients list then the picture and think NO WAY is that the same recipe. It's like false advertising LOL.

Heather said...

I prefer ones with pictures, but church cookbooks don't have them and I do like those cookbooks. It all depends.

Anonymous said...

I find that I pick recipes with a picture far more often than one without.I'm a visual

Wanda said...

I guess my favorite cookbooks are the church kind and they don't have photos. So... But it sort of depends. If a cookbook is something about cake decoration or party themes ...something dealing with how things look or artsy in any way, then I wouldn't buy it without pictures.

And with online recipes, if I am just browsing, then I don't think I pay much attention to recipes without pictures, unless I am at a recipe site looking up something in particular that I am already interested in.

Then there is Taste of Home magazine and Quick Cooking magazines. I don't think I would enjoy them nearly as much w/o the photos. I love their photos...the whole magazines, really.

ThursdayNext said...

I think I prefer photos for more intricate dishes; it helps me have a sense of what it is I am trying to strive for with the recipe. Things like meatballs and quiche are fine without photos.

These bran muffins look delicious!

Unknown said...

I prefer ones with pictures but don't freak out if a recipe is one of the ones that doesn't have one.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care too much, and like many people, I like the community cookbooks a lot. But, it is nice when there are pictures in other cookbooks.


Annie said...

I love pictures, because it gives me an idea of what I'm making should look like. Plus I just like to look at food.