In the weeks before Mother's Day, I find myself browsing through my mother's recipe files, looking for recipes from my childhood.
One that reappeared after a long absence was her recipe for refrigerator bran muffins.
I couldn't help but smile when I saw, in her unmistakable handwriting, "Bananas!" I took that to mean that adding bananas to the mixture is really good, but I've never tried it.
Refrigerator bran muffins may very well be one of the recipes my own children will remember me by. It's one I often made for them, and they also have fond memories of the big stoneware crock I stored the batter in. That pot met its match against my tile floor years ago, and its replacement isn't nearly as pretty — an old Tupperware container. But there's no mistaking the taste. These muffins are slightly sweet and so very moist, plus they're loaded with all-important fiber. When served warm with melting butter on top, they're irresistible.
The recipe makes a lot, and the batter keeps for a couple of weeks, so you can make them fresh every morning. Just spoon some batter in your muffin tins and bake while the coffee is brewing and you're getting ready to get the kids out of bed or whatever your morning routine might entail. And don't stop there. These muffins make a great pick-me-up to get you through the afternoon.
Refrigerator Bran Muffins
2 cups boiling water
2 cups Bran Buds cereal
1 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 quart buttermilk
5 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups All Bran cereal
1-2 bananas, sliced or mashed (optional)
In a mixing bowl, pour boiling water over Bran Buds. Set aside to cool.
In separate bowl, cream together shortening and brown sugar, then mix in beaten eggs and buttermilk. Add cooled Bran Bud mixture, and stir well.
Sift flour, baking soda and salt together, then stir into Bran Bud mixture. Stir in All Bran. Stir in bananas, if using. Store batter, covered, in refrigerator.
To bake, heat oven to 400 degrees. Spoon batter into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, and bake for 15 minutes or until muffins test done when tested with a toothpick.