Marvelous Muffins!

There is a lot to love about muffins. The simplicity. The soft texture. The yummy taste. The fact that, when compared to cookies, they have a lot less sugar and fat in most recipes. The ease at which they can be prepared. The short baking time. All the good-for-you stuff like whole grains and fruits and even vegetables that can be easily incorporated into them. Yes, muffins are marvelous! 
Muffins are a friend to children. Soft and easy to eat, they don't present some of the difficulties in chewing that some of the tougher breads and meats have for very young children. They are an ideal tool for learning to bake. Very little equipment is needed. A muffin tin, two bowls, measuring cups and spoons and something to stir with will give you a great start. I love my mixer, but it really isn't needed for making muffins. Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then mix together just until everything is moistened, scoop it into the muffin tins, bake for about 15 minutes and you're done. A child can do it! And should they stir a little too vigorously, it's okay. The muffins will still taste quite good, but the texture may be less than perfect and have a few tunnels. Nobody will even notice because muffins fresh out of the oven are marvelous, even if they aren't perfect. 

Oatmeal-Date Muffins are simple to make and quite tasty. You may not use dates often in your baking so you may be surprised at the deliciousness that they add to these muffins. The intense sweetness and creamy texture contrast nicely with the oatmeal. Should you wish to substitute, dried cranberries or raisins also work well. Or leave out the fruit. They'll still taste great. These are muffins and muffins are flexible. And marvelous. 
 Mix together and let soak for an hour:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup milk

3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1 egg

In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients: 
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
Mix wet and dry ingredients together just until moistened.

Okay, confession time. I didn't follow my own directions and just mixed everything together in one bowl.
Stir in 1/4-1/2 cup chopped dates.

Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray. Scoop dough into muffin tins. I used an ice cream scoop and am slightly mortified to see that I used my finger to dispatch the dough. You, of course, will not do that. You'll use another spoon and so will I, next time.  This recipe makes eight muffins. Since this tin has nine cups, I filled the empty cup with water because that's what I've heard you should do if some are empty. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Go ahead and serve your least favorite meal. No one will even care. Because there are muffins! And muffins are marvelous!

For a printable recipe, click here.

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