One of my favorite simple pleasures, is to start my day with a pot of tea and one of Flo’s Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins. They are light and so incredibly tender. Sweet and tart at the same time. And, because of the oatmeal, they keep me feeling full for hours. That is quite a feat. I also like that these oatmeal cranberry orange muffins are so very portable! Grab a couple to take to work. They are chocked full of healthy ingredients – oatmeal, orange zest, cranberries, almond milk, uh, except the butter. But, the butter is essential and besides, think about how Julia Child felt about butter. She lived until just 2 days short of her 92nd birthday.
Now I came to this recipe via one of my favorite baking blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction. Every recipe of her’s I have tried has been wonderful. This recipe is based on her Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins. I made a few adjustments to compensate for our high altitude (6500 feet) and I baked these in my Breville Smart Oven. I love this countertop oven because it heats up in a jiffy, it has convection and it does not heat up the kitchen. This is key, we don’t have central air out here in the hinterlands. When this old ranch house was built central heat and air were decades away.
Now this recipe for oatmeal muffins does use some dishes but you stir everything together with a big wooden spoon or spatula. So, get out a fairly large mixing bowl, and a couple of medium ones. I just use a large mixing bowl and 2 big measuring cups.
First things first
Measure out your vanilla almond milk and oatmeal. Combine the two together. These 2 ingredients need to get to know each other for at least 20 minutes, maybe a bit longer. You want the oatmeal to soften and absorb moisture from the almond milk. You can use regular milk for this if you like but, unsweetened almond milk has 30 calories per cup compared to 137 for 2% milk. Maybe I am trying to make up for the butter guilt. I also love the boost of flavor I get from using the vanilla flavored almond milk.
The next thing you want to do is melt the butter. I do this in the microwave. The butter does not need to be completely liquified but you want it really soft so that it mixes with the brown sugar completely. So once the butter is soft, dump in the brown sugar and mix the two together. Next, add in the egg, vanilla and orange zest. It is amazing how much flavor just a bit of zest imparts. Mix all this together. Preheat your oven about now.
In a large bowl (I know another bowl, sorry about that), Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Add the sugar, butter and egg mixture to the dry ingredients in the big bowl. Stir a few times. Now add the almond milk and oatmeal and stir to just combined. Don’t over-mix this. Lastly, fold in the cranberries. Now I used dried sweetened cranberries but come November, when I can get fresh or frozen cranberries, I am going to try this recipe with them. I’ll get back to you on how that works out. I like the idea of the tender berries, rather than the chewier dried ones.
Now, if you want to make life simple, use cupcake liners and a 1/4th cup ice cream scoop. I used my vintage one pictured above. Isn’t it pretty? Using a scoop like this allows you to fill each cup equally and you usually don’t get as many drips. This batter is really thick. Not really pourable. I also like that the muffins are already sort of domed on top too.
As per Sally’s instruction, to get nice high muffins, you start them out with a blast of heat. The first 5 minutes bake ’em at 450°F (230°C). Then turn them down to 350°F (177°C). Bake for a total of about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. When you remove the muffins from the oven, let them cool in the tin for about 5 minutes. Then remove them to a cooling rack.
These little gems will keep at room temperature for a couple of days. I keep mine in a Tupperware container in the fridge for 5 days or so. They also freeze beautifully. I just put them in a freezer zip lock bag.
So, the next quiet morning or afternoon you have, take the time to brew yourself the perfect cup of tea, pull one of these little treasures out of the fridge or freezer. Microwave it for a few seconds and it’ll be just like you took it out of the oven. Now and sit down to a little piece of heaven.
- 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder (high altitude 3/4 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted a cooled
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- zest of 1 orange grated
- In a medium size bowl, stir to combine almond milk and oatmeal
- Set aside for 20 minutes so that the oats absorb and soften in the almond milk
- Melt the butter
- Preheat the oven to 450°F
- Spray a 12 count muffin tin with cooking spray or better yet, use cupcake liners.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside
- In a medium size bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and orange zest. Mix to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir a bit.
- Add the oats and milk and stir a bit more. Fold in the cranberries to just combine. Don't over mix.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. I like to use an old fashioned ice cream scoop for this. Fill each muffin cup almost to the top.
- Bake at 450°F for 5 minutes (this is critical for a high fluffy muffin). Reduce heat to 350°F for another 16-17 minutes. You want a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin to come out clean. Total time in the oven should be 21-23 minutes.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Then remove them from the tin and onto a cooling rack to complete cooling.
- These muffins will stay fresh a couple of days at room temperature. They will stay good in the fridge for about a week. They also freeze beautifully.
You may use regular milk but I like the almond milk because it has way fewer calories and will give the muffins that extra vanilla flavor.
You can also substitute honey for the brown sugar.
I cooked these in my Breville Smart Oven Air using convection. I love that it preheats so quickly and doesn't heat up the kitchen.
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Breville Smart Oven
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Amount Per Serving Calories 198 Total Fat 9g Saturated Fat 5g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 36mg Sodium 199mg Carbohydrates 28g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 2g Sugar 11g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 3g