Leftover Oatmeal Muffins

Just a quick post today because as usual I’m behind in writing. We’re leaving on Sunday for the States for a little vacation, and when I’m not making packing lists I’m trying to use up the food in the fridge. One way I’ve been able to incorporate the bit of leftover oatmeal that occasionally remains from the morning pot is through an oatmeal muffin recipe adapted from my old standby The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Fannie was the one who guided me through my first baking attempts and can still be relied upon for a good, basic chocolate cake or blueberry muffin or, in this instance, a recipe that is the epitome ofwaste not want not.

I just jumped down the wikipedia rabbit hole and read up on Fannie Farmer and if you have a minute I invite you to do the same. I didn’t know, for example, that she is considered the “mother of level measurements” — meaning that she gave detailed instructions for how to level a cup of flour or precisely measure butter; previous American recipes gave more ambiguous guidance such as telling cooks to measure out a “teacup of milk”. (These other instructions are admittedly more whimsical but I can imagine that a teacup size could vary from kitchen to kitchen … then again, maybe not? Was there a standard teacup size in the 1800s?) That her Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, first published in 1896 and now published under the more familiar Fannie Farmer, is still selling is a testament to the durability of the original recipes.

But of course I changed up the recipe as printed, despite all of the above (mostly because I can’t help but to tinker and also I wanted to increase the protein quotient). As I made it the recipe produces a tender yet sturdy muffin studded with fruit and just barely sweetened by a hint of coconut sugar. I substituted almond meal and spelt flour for the flour, coconut oil for the butter, and tucked in a little cardamom. One of the reasons I love the recipes in Fannie is because they call for simple, real ingredients: nothing fancy, nothing strange. Though I’ve made substitutions here you can of course revert to the original — all purpose flour, white sugar, butter. But I’d argue that my changes make for a healthier muffin, one which in all earnestness can be called “breakfast” and enjoyed as such.

nicole spiridakis © copyright 2023