toasty oatmeal muffins

Okay. So you know those oatmeal muffins that I make? The ones that I’ve written about and that Aimee raves about? The ones I serve to everyone, take to breakfasts, and eat like candy? Well, I decided to write about them for my newspaper column (back when I had a newspaper column), but then my husband dropped a bombshell.

“I don’t like them,” he said. “They’re gummy.”

Which is ridiculous because they are most certainly not gummy, but I couldn’t very well write about something as basic as an oatmeal muffin without my husband’s seal of approval. It would feel deceitful. So, grumbling under my breath, I set the recipe aside.

But this week when I was at the library, I picked up the most recent Cook’s Illustrated. In it I found, lo and behold, a recipe for an oatmeal muffin. And knowing that magazine, any recipe they put out is, they believe, the best one ever. I read through it, became intrigued, and then actually shelled out 25 cents to make a photocopy.

The goal of the article’s author/chef was to make a very oatmeal-y muffin but without any gumminess (because I guess my husband isn’t the only one). The trick? Toast lots of oats in a spot of butter until golden brown and then blitz them in food processor. The resulting caramel-y oat flour makes for a gorgeously speckled muffin.

The topping is perfect, too. A crunchy sweet blend of oats, pecans,
brown sugar, cinnamon.

I had some leftover batter so I made mini loaves. Just feast your eyes on that topping gloriousness!

Could it possibly get any better? I don’t think so.

And guess what? My husband loves them! (The kids don’t, though. Whatevs.)

Toasty Oatmeal Muffins
Adapted from the January-February 2013 issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

For the batter:
8 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
1 3/4 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Add the oats and stir over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes until toasty brown. Blitz into flour in the food processor—30 seconds should do it. Addt the remaining dry ingredients (not the brown sugar) and blitz to combine.

Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter. In a large bowl, whisk the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs and milk. Whisk in the dry ingredients. The batter will be very thin. Allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to thicken up before ladling into paper-lined muffin tins.

For the topping:
½ cup rolled oats
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Stir together. Sprinkle over the muffins.

Bake the muffins at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Yield: 12 large muffins or 18 medium muffins

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (12.19.11) 


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