It's a good thing King Arthur Flour isn't an actual man, because I just might leave my husband if it were. I believe I've fallen in love. If I don't stay off their website, I might never lose the 15 pounds I still want to lose. And then they went and built themselves a whole brand new Baker's Store. If I lived in Vermont, we'd probably be broke for all the money I could spend there. I love baking equipment as much as I love fabric. And I love baking almost as much as I love quilting. How to mesh these two . . . hm, thinking . . . I know! Bake up these muffins and eat them while I'm quilting! It could work!
So this was another recipe I pulled off their website after they put it up on Facebook so tantalizingly. How could I resist? Could you? The granola gives them the nicest little crunch, and they're relatively healthy, as baked goods go.
Sadly, when I went to bake them, I discovered my buttermilk had gone bad. So I went to my best resource for when such disasters occur (because when I get a mind to bake something, I cannot be deterred from the fulfillment of my mission):
This is the best resource. It never fails me. It suggested several alternatives, but I went with substituting 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar with enough milk added to make the 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk I needed. Then I let it sit for five minutes before mixing it in. It worked perfectly. Other than that, I made the recipe exactly as you see it here.
Buttermilk Granola Muffins
Recipe source: King Arthur Flour blog
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon -- optional (I used the cinnamon)
1cup prepared granola
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup prepared granola
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease the cups of a standard muffin pan; or line with paper baking cups, and grease the paper cups.
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, including the granola.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, vegetable oil, and buttermilk.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them nearly full. A slightly heaped muffin scoop of batter is the right amount.
Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with additional granola, if desired.
Bake the muffins for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes (or when they're cool enough to handle) transfer them to a rack to cool. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Store leftovers loosely wrapped at room temperature.
A few notes: The website suggests that these muffins can be made vegan by substituting 1 1/4 cups of orange juice, vegetable juice, cranberry juice, or the juice of your choice for the buttermilk. I have a feeling choosing vegetable or cranberry juice would turn the muffins a weird color. Orange juice would probably be the best choice, but if it were me, I'd probably go with apple juice. It would be nice with the cinnamon.
Also, although the website doesn't mention this, I believe they could be made with less fat by substituting 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce for the vegetable oil. I haven't tried it in this recipe, but I have tried it in other baking with good results. The one thing I've noticed about using applesauce is that it tends to make things a little stickier than they might be otherwise.
Finally, the King Arthur website has a recipe for making your own Crunchy Granola, but I got mine from the bulk foods section of my local grocery store. I didn't want the dried fruit in there, but I chose a granola with extra nuts.
So . . . now that I've talked about them, I might just go and eat another one.