Thursday, February 20, 2014

Leftover oatmeal muffins

Am I a little weird for being very excited about a recipe for "leftover oatmeal muffins"?  This might be a bore to non-oatmeal lovers but if you're a fan like me, you might enjoy this as much as I do.  I've been casually looking for a good oat muffin recipe for a long time since I adore oatmeal and oatmeal cookies.  I haven't had much luck but then Molly came along recently with something very interesting...
This one's for my fellow oatmeal lovers: Leftover steel-cut oatmeal muffins, with walnuts and mini chocolate chips
Why had I never thought of oatmeal muffins?  As in cooked oatmeal in the muffins as opposed to using rolled oats.  And I get to use my favorite steel-cut oatmeal at that.  I loved the idea and I had to try it.  

To explain why I really wanted to make these, you have to understand that I really, seriously, love oatmeal - crunchy, chewy steel-cut oats, to be exact.  I buy tins of McCann's Steel-Cut Irish Oatmeal almost as regularly as I buy eggs and milk.  I eat it almost everyday, not because I'm purposely trying to be healthy but because I honestly crave that texture and it fills me up properly. My son once asked me why I always eat oatmeal at dinner because I often have it as the carb portion of my meal.  I had to explain that I just really love it; he's used to it now and accepts it as one of my quirks.
The bulk of these muffins: leftover steel-cut oatmeal and a blend of walnuts and miniature chocolate chips
So maybe it'll come as no surprise that I really, really dig these oatmeal muffins!  They are hearty, not heavy.  With very little butter and just a bit of milk in them, the flavor is mild but texturally, they're a little magical because the steel-cut oats snap under your teeth in a very satisfying (at least, for me) and somewhat unusual way.  If you use old-fashioned rolled oatmeal instead, I imagine you'd get the more standard chewy texture, which is surely not a bad thing at all either.    

These muffins leave some room for add-ins and I went with walnuts and miniature chocolate chips. You could use other nuts or some fruit.  I feel like you could never go wrong with the subtle crunch of walnuts in baked goods and I'll grab any chance to add a little chocolate into anything so those were my natural choices, and I'm sticking with it.   
I think it's safe to say that no one will mistake these muffins for cupcakes and that's perfectly suitable here.  I feel good eating it.  The bits of chocolate chips add just enough allure and a little extra sweetness to make the muffins satisfying.  Because there's just a small amount of butter in these muffins, they are one of those baked items that are inevitably best fresh.  In fact, they taste best fresh from the oven, eaten while they're still warm

I made a small, half batch, of these in my first endeavor because of that very reason but I'm happy to report that a day-old leftover oatmeal muffin was still very tasty after it'd been refreshed for a few minutes in a warm oven.
One last thing...in my attempt to jazz things up and since it was on hand, I had the idea of crumbling some homemade granola over the top of the muffins so I tried it on a couple of them.  In the end, I discovered that granola makes a great add-in for cookies but they have no place here. It just did not work well on these oatmeal muffins.  All of us (surprisingly, even including the little one who I thought the crunchy top would appeal to) much preferred the muffins without the granola.  It was just too distracting and took away from the gentle warmth and snap of the oatmeal muffins.  There's no knowing without trying, I suppose, but I won't be doing it again...and I do plan to make these again.

I can finally say I found myself a good oatmeal muffin recipe.


As often as I cook and eat oatmeal, I have not gotten into the habit of make extra and reheating it for the week.  Maybe it's something I need to look into. I think I secretly like the act of cooking it, although sometimes it gets a little crazy at night, trying to watch three burners at once if I have other things going (and I always do).  So in this instance, I made extra steel-cut oatmeal the night before to make these muffins in the morning for breakfast.  Does anyone make extra oatmeal regularly and reheat it? 
This recipe makes 10 standard-size muffins, or up to a dozen if you stretch it out a bit and make smaller muffins.  I preferred to fill up the cups a bit more fully, as you can see above.  And for two of the muffins, I did my granola-topping experiment (which I wouldn't do again since they are better without it).

I made half a recipe - that takes half a cup of leftover steel-cut oatmeal and 1/4 cup of total mix-in's (walnuts and mini chocolate chips in my case). Unfortunately, half a recipe means half an egg.  I know that's a hassle but since I eat eggs every day, I just reserve it and cook it up for my breakfast sandwich.  I also substituted some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour.  It's become a little habit of mine.
The baked muffins are going to be rather pale looking - another reason I wanted to pretty them up with that granola topping.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I took my first bite but they turned out so good, particularly eaten warm.  Since they're easy to make, it isn't a huge hassle to whip them up first thing in the morning for breakfast like I did (especially if you do a little of the prepping the night before).  

If there are any leftovers, I recommend heating it for about 5 minutes in a 300 degree oven to warm them up and toast the top a bit before eating.  My leftover muffin was still great the next day that way.


Recipe

Leftover Oatmeal Muffins
Adapted from Orangette and SouleMama

- Makes 10 standard-size muffins (or 12 if you stretch the batter and make slightly smaller ones) - 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use more all-purpose flour)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup total add-ins (such as chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, raisins; I used miniature chocolate chips and walnuts)
1 large egg
1 cup cooked oatmeal (I used and recommend steel-cut oatmeal)
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin.

Whisk flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.  Whisk in your add-ins of choice.

In another bowl, lightly beat the egg.  Add oatmeal and mash with a fork to break up the lumps.  Add milk and butter, stirring to combine.  

Pour the wet mixture into the dry.  Stir together lightly, until just combined.  Divide batter among 10 muffin cups (or 12 for smaller muffins).  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.  The muffins will still look mostly pale when done.  Serve warm, if possible.

These muffins are best fresh and warm from the oven or at least the same day they're baked.  That said, I found that leftovers can be refreshed in a warm, 300 degree, oven for about 5 minutes and still taste great the next day.  


  



54 comments:

  1. Oh, I am a big fan of steel cut oats too and love these muffins Monica! They look great and what an awesome idea to use leftover cooked oatmeal to make muffins. Hehe, I am too lazy to make a batch of oatmeal every day though so I either have granola or I'll make a big batch of oatmeal that lasts a few days and reheat a serving in the microwave or stove again - you just add a little bit of water or milk to thin it out if it thickened up too much in the fridge. Thanks for the great recipe - I love that I can have my breakfast in muffin form now to switch things up :) Hope you are staying warm and have a great weekend Monica :)

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    1. The thing is I eat such a big portion that I'd have to make A LOT to have leftovers for other meal(s). Seriously. : )

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  2. I'm a big oatmeal fan so I know I would love these muffins! I can just imagine how good one of these is fresh from the oven!

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    1. I think anyone who loves oatmeal will get these muffins and enjoy them a lot. Thanks, Marie!

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  3. I too enjoy a good oatmeal muffin! These look hearty, healthy and really delicious.

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  4. These are gorgeous muffins! I would love something like this for weekday breakfast.

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    1. Yes - a muffin we can feel good about. : )

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  5. not weird at all! and so practical: we always have oatmeal (same kind: mcCann's tins) hanging around the house in the winter: it's my dinner sometimes. :) and i like how customizable they are...i think the Wee One would LOVE some chocolate chips in there.

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    1. I just stocked up another 2 canisters today. Whenever I run low, something weird happens and the stores seem to run out too so I panic a little. : ) I never turn down a chance to add chocolate into almost anything.

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  6. What a fun idea! I'll have to try it.

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  7. These look REALLY delicious. I love oatmeal, and these muffins sound perfect! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you - glad they appeal to you. Yay for hot oatmeal!

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  8. I've never thought of using cooked oatmeal, too. But probably because I never have leftover oatmeal - I always clean my bowl! I bet I would love these muffins!

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    1. Bianca - I am totally relate! I always clean my bowl and it's a big one. Like I was telling Kelly above, I'd have to make a whole lot to have any real amount of leftovers. : )

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  9. What a great way to use up leftover oatmeal (or an excuse to make extra) - I love the idea of using good-for-me steel-cut oats. These would be a perfect make-ahead breakfast for the days that I don't have the time to cook up some oatmeal!

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    1. It'd definitely be more of an excuse to make extra for me. The steel cut oats give it that funny snappy texture that is really great.

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  10. What a brilliant idea Monica! These muffins look wonderful! I love the chocolate chip and walnut addition and oh! So healthy!! Have a great weekend.

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    1. Healthy and tasty is such a great combo, isn't it, Jo. : )

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  11. so clever! love muffins in the morning and these are perfect

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    1. I usually save my sweets for dessert but it could be a muffin for dessert...but these are great either way. I loved it for breakfast and had one at night for dessert the next day, too.

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  12. I eat oatmeal (steel cut too!) all the time for breakfast. But I definitely make a big batch on the weekend to reheat during the week! No time on a weekday to cook it! : ) I love the sound of these muffins - and with the big batches of oatmeal I make I definitely have plenty to try in some muffins!

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    1. This is so perfect for people like you who actually already have oatmeal in the fridge. Meant for you to try! ; )

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  13. Yum! These are such a smart idea! I love me some oatmeal!

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    1. Glad there are plenty of oatmeal lovers like us out there, Jessica.

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  14. Those georgeous muffin is nothing like leftover, good job Monica!!!

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  15. I totally never thought of using cooked oatmeal in a muffin! They look so delicious and nutritious!

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  16. Never thought of using leftover oatmeal for muffins, but why not? These look great and I also like the crunch of nuts in my cookies and muffins. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I thought the same way...I'm thinking these might make great cookies now! As in leftover oatmeal cookies!

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  17. I am in love with these muffins. I do add oats and oat flours to my muffins but never ever thought of using leftover oatmeal. These look great with chocolate chips and crunchy top.

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    1. That crunchy top and the warm interior is the best way to enjoy it. Glad you like it!

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  18. Ohhh noo, I think that my comment was deleted :--( Anyway: these muffins look like the perfect brekafast treat. Adding cooked oatmeal to muffins seems like a brilliant idea that I can't wait to try. You have really caught my attention with these babies!
    Hope you're having a lovely weekend :)

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    1. Sorry you had double the work there, Consuelo. I think "breakfast treat" is such a great way to describe these. It doesn't weigh you down but that bit of chocolate inside makes it a great treat. Enjoy your day!

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  19. I am in love with all your oatmeal recipes happening here, these look crazy good! Wish I could reach through and grab one!

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    1. I love how both oatmeal and gooey, decadent things appeal to so many of us. : )

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  20. I'm an oatmeal lover so this is definitely not a bore to me! Looks great!!

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    1. That's great! I'll eat oatmeal a hundred ways!

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  21. I've never seen cooked oatmeal IN a baked good and I am definitely intrigued!! I'm sure it adds such great texture to the finished muffin!

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    1. Same reaction I had. I really liked these and can't wait to make it again. Extra oatmeal coming up for me!

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  22. I need to make some of these and keep them on hand for a quick and healthy breakfast-great idea! And I love steel cut oats!

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    1. I can't get enough of that steel cut texture and chew!

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    1. I think this is probably my first real oatmeal muffin. I'm glad to finally have a good recipe.

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  24. I love any kind of oatmeal but my husband only likes steel cut. I should experiment this on him. Looks so good !!!

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    1. I like other oatmeals and hot cereals too but I have definitely been in a steel cut-loving phase. : )

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  25. I've often had leftover oatmeal and I'm ashamed to say it goes to waste... if I had only known about these muffins! I'll remember them for future ;-)

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    1. I never have leftover oatmeal so I kind of wish I had your problem. I do hate to waste and I know most of us do so maybe give these a try one day. Thanks, Aimee!

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  26. These muffins sound delicious. I love the walnut and miniature chocolate chip add-ins. The oats on top also look beautiful, and subbing whole wheat pastry flour sounds like a great idea. Love this recipe, Monica! (:

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    1. Thanks, Monica. They really are good. Humble but I've been craving one since eating them...

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  27. Just made these with leftover porridge, added cranberries and orange zest, they are marvelous!

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    1. Yay! Isn't there just something about its wholesomeness that is just so good? Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know. So glad yours turned out well - sounds terrific!

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