These muffins come together quickly, especially if you mix up the dry ingredients the night before. I once managed to make them at 7:30 am while wearing a wiggly 14-month-old in a sling. FIST BUMP! (Or, TERRORIST FIST JAB! Uggghhhhh.)
Also, for the record, I like these best with walnuts and bittersweet chocolate as my add-ins. I used a ¼ cup of each: that’s about 30 grams of walnuts, chopped, and 45 grams of Valrhona 64% Manjari chocolate discs, chopped.
Preheat the oven to 400°F, and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and add-ins.
In another bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the oatmeal to the egg, and mash with a fork to break up clumps. Add the milk and the butter, and stir or whisk to combine.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and stir briefly to just combine. Divide the batter evenly between the wells of the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. The muffins won’t brown much on top and might even look a little anemic, but that’s okay. Serve warm, ideally.
Note: These muffins are best when they’re fresh from the oven, or on the day that they’re made.
Yield: 12 smallish muffins
The original version of this recipe includes vanilla extract and raisins, but I’m a plain-oatmeal person, so what follows is the basic portion of the recipe. I hope Megan will forgive me for being boring.
I should note that both Megan and I use Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt, which tastes less salty than Morton brand. And as far as natural cane sugar goes, I use unbleached and unrefined cane sugar – bought in bulk at my local supermarket – but you could also use demerara, turbinado, or muscovado.
In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oats, and cook, stirring occasionally, until quite fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a 2 ½- to 3-quart saucepan, bring the water, milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer. (Be careful: I find that this mixture goes quickly from zero to boiling and has a tendency to boil over.) Stir in the toasted oats. Adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer, and partially cover the saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping and scorching, until the mixture has thickened and the oats are soft, 25 to 30 minutes. The cereal will still be quite loose at this point, but don’t worry; it will continue to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat, allow it to rest for a few minutes (still partially covered), and then serve hot, with maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey.
Yield: 4 servings