Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Peach Oatmeal Muffins


This morning I was walking the dog and reflecting on breakfast. We were out of granola. Bread baking is on the list for today. But I was super hungry. A little Nature Valley Granola bar was not going to cut it. I even cut a chat with one of my favorite dog-walking buddies short because I couldn’t wait to get back inside.

Peach oatmeal muffins | Pies and Puggles

That’s when it hit me. I have peaches! And they need to be eaten today or not at all! I’ll make peach oatmeal muffins! Never mind that I have several hundred bags of dog treats to bake today!


Why did it have to have oatmeal? Because this one time at Linnaea’s when I was still in high school—it must have been finals week or something because don’t remember any guilt over showing up at my favorite coffee place to have a leisurely mid-morning muffin—I had this peach pecan oatmeal muffin. I only saw them there that once even though I’ve been there conservatively a thousand times. So it had to have oatmeal. Besides, did I mention? HUNGRY.


When I got back inside I quickly googled up a recipe and came up with…zilch. Nada. I mean, there are lots of recipes out there, but the pictures yielded what looked like clearly anemic muffins or they contained whole wheat pastry flour, which I don’t generally keep on hand or canned peaches (blech). So I turned to my old stand-by, The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which also yielded…zilch. But I was still soooo hungry. And now I wanted muffins. It was time to improvise.


Now, I do a lot of improvising in the kitchen. I made a pound cake two weeks ago with honey yogurt when it called for sour cream. I throw in bok choy in place of green beans. But this improvisation would involve substituting some oatmeal for all-purpose flour in my very favorite muffin recipe of all time: the Big Beautiful Muffin recipe, which might not have gone very well. Luckily it went fine. Um, peachy, in fact.



Big Beautiful Oatmeal Peach Muffins

adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
makes 12 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal (not the quick cooking kind)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups honey lowfat yogurt
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup diced fresh summer peaches, tossed with 1 tablespoon flour
¾ cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (optional)

1.      Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. This is not the time for fancy cupcake papers. If you must, add them after baking for a cute flower-like effect. Any muffin recipe with yogurt will badly stick to the paper, rendering them unappetizing at best and inedible at worst.

2.       Add the chopped pecans to a skillet and heat to medium. Watch carefully because they go from toasted to burned in just seconds. Let cool.

3.       Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the yogurt and eggs together in a medium bowl. Gently fold the yogurt-egg mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the melted butter.

4.       Fold in the peaches and pecans (if using).

5.       Use a large ice cream scoop or measuring cup to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.

6.       Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. These muffins are best eaten same-day.
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