I love perusing old church cookbooks. I own a few, and between them, there must be over 50 recipes for jello salad. Complete with pretzels and canned mushroom caps. Mmmmmm. Well, I come from a Lutheran family you know. And I hear that jello salad is served as the vegetable course in some households in North Dakota…(well that’s the rumor I heard, anyway!) So many of the recipes crack me up. Like “Chicken Jamboree” and “Fiesta Chicken” (which, by the way, seems to make it’s way into fiesta-land by way of a little cilantro!). There are cool-whip pies and a million other funny recipes that I’d never go near. Church cookbooks are kind of like shopping at Ross or TJ Max- you just have to be willing to look. If you keep paging through, you’re bound to find a couple diamonds in the rough.
My Grama used to belong to a church in Palo Alto that was full of great cooks. That church cookbook is a gem! She went through the whole thing and circled the recipes that were contributed by all the great cooks. My dad owns a copy of that church cookbook too, and all the pages are warped, stained and curled because of how often it’s been used. About 10 years ago, I decided I needed my own copy, so I called up the church and asked if they happened to have any left. Nope! So I took my dad’s version to the local copy center and copied the whole dang thing! (Totally worth it!)
So this bran muffin recipe is from the infamous church cookbook. Honestly, it didn’t occur to me until I was in high school that most people only eat bran muffins in certain situations. 1) They’re trying to be healthy. 2) They’re having some- um- problems.
When I was growing up, these muffins were standard fare. We never had blueberry muffins or lemon-poppy seed muffins. We ate bran muffins. And I loved them. (And for the record- for all you doubting people out there- Scott said the other day, “these muffins really are good!“). So that goes to show you that it’s not just me and my biased opinion!
Church cookbook Bran Muffins
yields approx 2 dozen
I like to mix up the batter and only bake a few at a time. It keeps well in the fridge for a week and a half.
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup organic shortening (I keep meaning to try butter instead….let me know how it works if you do!)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 cups Kellogg’s All Bran cereal
- 1 cup General Mills Fiber One cereal
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the baking rack in the center-most position. Prepare 2 muffin pans by lightly spraying with oil, or lining with paper cups.
Measure the bran cereals into a medium bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Stir so that everything is equally moistened. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the sugar and shortening. Add the beaten eggs in two doses, allowing each to become fully absorbed before adding the next. Mix until thoroughly combined.
In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir well to mix. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and flour, in 2 alternating doses to the creamed mixture. Add the brans and mix well. Add the optional raisins.
Pour a heaping 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup, and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.