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Flour Girl: The surprise of a multi-muffin

Applesauce Multigrain Muffins. (Leigh Lambert -- The Washington Post)

Scrounging around my cupboards during the snow-in, I found a canister of multigrain hot cereal: basically, rolled oats with some other good-for-you whole grains mixed in. It had a recipe for Applesauce Multigrain Muffins on the back. To my surprise, I had all the ingredients, which was obviously a sign I had to make them. When else are you trapped, looking to bake and have everything you need? Because they were back-of-the-box, I didn't expect great things, but I thought the experience might be entertaining.

What a delight to find they are simple and good. And they're not full of fat and sugar, unlike so many muffins that, while we eat them for breakfast, are really no more than un-iced cupcakes. (Don't get me wrong, I like a cupcake as much as the next gal, but muffins should be different.) These still have a moist interior, and the streusel topping dresses them up to add another layer of flavor and texture.

Recipe Included

Of course, given that they are a healthful start to the morning, I feel entitled to smear them liberally with butter and honey. There goes the not-so-much-fat-and-sweetness benefit.

I made them large (no big surprise there), wrapped them individually in foil and kept them in the freezer to portion out through the week. They make an to-go breakfast that's easily defrosted in the microwave.

-- Leigh Lambert

Applesauce Multigrain Muffins
Makes 6 large or 12 standard-size muffins

Applesauces vary tremendously in flavor. You may want to increase the amount of cinnamon in the batter, depending on the brand of applesauce you use.

MAKE AHEAD: The muffins can be individually wrapped in aluminum foil and stored at room temperature for 2 days or frozen for a month. To reheat, unwrap and microwave on HIGH for 15 to 30 seconds. Adapted from Country Choice Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal.

For the topping
1/3 cup uncooked multigrain hot cereal, such as Country Choice Organic (may substitute old-fashioned rolled oats, but do not use instant)
2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the muffins
1 cup uncooked multigrain hot cereal, such as Country Choice Organic (may substitute old-fashioned rolled oats but not instant)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste (see headnote)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat milk
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sunflower oil or canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use nonstick cooking oil spray to grease the wells of a muffin pan (or pans).

For the topping: Combine the multigrain cereal, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well.

For the muffins: Combine the multigrain cereal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Combine the applesauce, milk, brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Add the applesauce mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.

Divide among the wells of the muffin pan(s); they should be filled 2/3 full. Sprinkle equal amounts of the topping over the tops. Bake 18 to 20 minutes for standard-size muffins and 25 minutes for large muffins. The tops should be domed and spring back to the touch.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then use a round-edged knife to dislodge the muffins.

Serve warm. Cool completely before storing.

Per muffin (based on 12): 203 calories, 4 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 21 mg cholesterol, 58 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 13 g sugar

By Leigh Lambert  |  February 25, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Flour Girl , Recipes  | Tags: Flour Girl, Leigh Lambert, baking, muffins  
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