Six Week Bran Muffins have been around for a while-- I've seen lots of recipes floating around the internet, most of them exact replicas of the one I first came across in Cooking from Quilt Country, by Marcia Adams, a collection of Amish and Mennonite recipes. My Mom gave that cookbook to me one Christmas (fifteen years ago?) when I was in the midst of making my own interpretation of an Amish quilt.
Cooking from Quilt Country is my go-to book for comfort food. Not for those of you watching calories (or carbs or fat), it's full of old recipes like Buttermilk Pie, Burnt Sugar Cake, Dandelion Greens with Hot Bacon Dressing, Oven Fried Chicken, Homemade Grape Nuts, Hot Cabbage Salad and Custard Cornbread (it forms a custard on top and there really is no going back once you've had that cornbread!). There is a recipe for Cinnamon Butter Sauce that reminds me of a simple little Nutmeg Sauce my grandmother used to whip up and then spoon hot onto her apple pie.
But back to the muffins! Six Week Bran Muffins have been a favorite of mine for years. Not only are they chewy, mellow and wholesome-tasting, but they make me look like some sort of Kitchen Goddess because I can produce a batch at a moment's notice (assuming I've got the batter in the refrigerator). Trust me on this. Make the batter. Store it in your refrigerator and then invite some friends over for tea or coffee. Wow them with hot muffins.
Six Week Whole Bran Muffins
adapted from Cooking from Quilt Country, by Marcia Adams
makes about 42 - 48 muffins
The original recipe calls for a box of bran flakes with raisins and whole buttermilk. In an attempt to make these healthier I use whole bran cereal and low fat buttermilk.
(I've also had a fair amount of success with replacing the one cup of oil with 3/4 cup of applesauce and 1/4 cup oil, and substituting some of the white flour with whole wheat, though my family and I prefer them as written here.)
5 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground allspice
15 oz. whole bran cereal
1 cup golden raisins
3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup oil
1 quart low fat buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Using the largest bowl you have, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and allspice. Add the bran cereal, raisins and sugar and mix.
In another bowl beat the eggs and add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla, whisking until smooth.
Pour the egg mixture over the flour and bran mixture and stir well.
Transfer the batter to a large container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to make muffins. This batter will keep for six weeks.
When you're ready to bake, do not stir the batter again.
To make muffins, preheat the oven to 375 F. Scoop about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of batter for each muffin into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake about 20 minutes or until the tops spring back when you touch them.