"Salad and muffins?!" he responds in a somewhat whiny, exasperated tone, so perfected by teens. "Nothing more substantial?"
OK, I could have been a little more creative with my response to whet the active teenage boy's palate: "Salad greens with slivered Gruyere cheese and seasoned croutons smothered in Caesar dressing, accompanied by a tall glass of milk and a Mom original, hot Oatmeal Cookie Muffins, dripping with melted butter." But I was distracted with the task at hand.
When he appeared, I was in the middle of an experimental batch of muffins, fashioned after oatmeal cookies, to be foisted on my research subjects, otherwise known as family members. The undertaking, like many other kitchen ventures, started with a quick survey of what I had on hand. And on this occasion it was more like what I didn't have on hand, considering a trip to the grocery store was overdue. What resulted is a family-tested, family-approved recipe for muffins that doesn't require a special trip the the supermarket.
These muffins have an added nutritional bonus of 3 grams of fiber (12% of Daily Value) per muffin due whole wheat flour, oatmeal and raisins. (For those of you with finicky eaters, don't worry, the kids won't notice the whole wheat; it's masked by the texture of the oatmeal and raisins as well as the spice flavors.) Start these 45 minutes before supper time and you'll have piping hot muffins fresh from the oven.
As for my son and this dinner: His friend showed up shortly after our kitchen interaction; they decided my menu sounded a little sparse and subsequently ordered delivery pizza. But the two did enjoy muffins and salad for their first course! No room for doubt, the pizza was of substance. Among the toppings were tater tots (Yes, that's right!) and bacon. Having never tried tater tots on pizza, curiosity got the best of me and I sampled a slice. Better than I expected, but in my opinion, go for the muffins!
Yield: 12 muffins
Preparation Time: 45 minutes, including baking
12 muffin papers
1/2 c granulated white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 c soft butter (reserve 1 T)
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 c nonfat milk
1/2 t salt
1 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c all-purpose white flour
1 c old-fashioned or quick oats
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (425 degrees F if at 5,000 feet or higher in altitude). Place muffin papers in muffin tin. Set aside 1 T of butter. In large mixing bowl, beat sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla, then milk. Add dry ingredients all at once (no need to sift). Mix until just blended. Fold in raisins and nuts (if desired).
Spoon batter into muffin papers to two-thirds full. Place muffin tin in oven and bake 20-25 minutes. To test doneness, lightly depress a center muffin with your index finger. If done, it will spring back. Remove tin from oven and place on cake rack. Melt reserved T of butter in microwave. Using a pastry brush, brush tops of muffins with butter. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.
Per-muffin Nutritional Profile:
Fat, 7 g
Saturated Fat, 3.5 g
Cholesterol, 50 mg
Carbs, 42 g
Dietary Fiber, 3 g
Protein, 2 g
Sodium, 180 mg
Vitamin A, 4% Daily Value
Vitamin C, 0% Daily Value
Calcium, 8% Daily Value
Iron, 8% Daily Value