So let’s say it’s early December and there’s Christmas music playing on the stereo. And let’s say it’s 19 degrees outside and snowing and the Christmas lights on the house are lit. And let’s say it’s early afternoon and it just couldn’t be any cozier in the house. And let’s say you’ve just poured yourself a cup of tea and opened the oven and taken out a fresh batch of hot, steaming muffins.
Now, just because those happen to be bran muffins doesn’t kill the buzz does it? Not for me, cuz these are my favorite six week bran muffins, and I’m just about as happy as a girl can get right about now.
There’s a story that goes through my head every time I make these muffins, so I have to tell it to you and then you can think of this story when you make them too. I actually wish I didn’t have this story go through my head when I make these, but it’s the six week bran muffin story, so it must be told.
The year was 1977 and I had just had a baby. Not just any baby, but my baby, Lisa (#2 in the lineup). I had just come home from the hospital with my precious bundle when I hear a knock on the door. I made my way to the door and there stood the mother of a friend of ours, a very dear older woman named Mrs. Cronk, smiling and holding a plate of beautiful, dark muffins and now, of course, looking back I know she had come to see my new baby and all, but I saw those muffins and I thanked her profusely and closed the door.
Oh, man, it wasn’t until several years and lots of muffins later that I realized what I had done. I mean, I saw those muffins and lost all sense of propriety and manners and civility and it’s not a proud moment in my life. But I do so love these muffins. Mrs. Cronk was kind enough to part with the recipe even after being treated so rudely, bless her heart.
So the thing about these muffins is that this recipe makes a TON of batter. So you just make up a dozen whenever you want fresh muffins and keep the rest of the batter in the fridge and it lasts 6 weeks (unless you eat them as fast as I do).
I believe (really) that the muffin tin in the photo above is the original tin I have used to make these muffins since the '70's. It really is as old as it looks.
So here’s the recipe. Maybe you could think of Mrs. Cronk when you make them. It might ease my guilt a little.
Six Week Bran Muffins
1 cup boiling water
1 cup whole bran cereal (like All Bran)
1/2 cup shortening or butter (I use Earth Balance)
1-1/2 cups white sugar*
2 cups buttermilk
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur white whole wheat)
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole bran cereal
1 ½ cups raisins
1 In a large bowl, add boiling water to the first cup of bran cereal, cool.
2 Cream shortening or margarine, sugar, eggs, and buttermilk together. Add to bran mixture. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the 2 cups of bran cereal and the raisins. Stir only until moistened.
3 Bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
*yes, it's a lot, but like I said, this makes a TON of muffins