“Here’s an old-fashioned breakfast treat. The kids will never know they’re eating their oatmeal!”
(The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, p. 13)
Well, I let the cat out of the bag on this one. Actually, it was a George Washington moment. I invited the family to the breakfast table for fresh muffins before going to church. Things were going well until a certain young one asked, “What’s in it?” Now, you would think that children would be so fixed on the smell of sugar and cinnamon and the thought of melting butter and jam, that the detour of, “What’s in it?”, simply wouldn’t have popped up like a quantum particle from non existence. But it did.
“Is there oatmeal in there?” asked Little bear. Little bear knew that Papa bear had a habit of disguising healthy treats to look like things kids really like. Papa bear, not the most clever of bears, was backed into a corner, knowing it was Sunday (actually Saturday but it counts for Sunday in Qatar), and that he could not tell a lie – or at least couldn’t get away with it. “Yes”, said Papa bear, “but they’re special oats. Not like the ones we usually eat. These are rolled oats. And they soaked in milk for ten minutes before going into the batter.” (As if that mattered.) Papa bear got a piercing look from the right eye of Little bear whose brow was raised like a drawn bow. And then …. the bite. “Hmmm. Not bad. But not a lot of flavor.” 24 hours later, Papa bear was heard grunting, “Hmmm. None left. Not bad for muffins that were not bad.”
VERDICT (Papa bear’s):
I loved these muffins. Delicate flavor. Lightly sweet with a hint of cinnamon and the rich taste of creamy oats. If you can have something that qualifies as light yet dense (anything is possible in the quantum world), these muffins qualify.
- Telling the truth can be uncomfortable but is worth it.
- Follow the recipe to establish your baking baseline. That is what I will be doing throughout this project. I’m glad I did in this instance. I was unhappy with the small amount of cinnamon called for in the recipe. I LOVE cinnamon and have never before stuck to small amounts in recipes. I did this time and discovered the pleasure of the subtle and of hints.
- Muffins do not need to be put in paper cups. Most cookbooks casually tell you to pour the batter into paper muffin/cupcake cups. This makes for easy clean-up and for muffins that pop right out of the muffin tin. The directions for this recipe said to “grease well a 12-cup muffin tin”, which I did (spray canola oil). They all popped out beautifully and left the pan clean.
DETOUR – None.