Not only do these old fashioned bran muffins taste delicious, they are a good source of fiber. You may substitute dates with raisins or chopped prunes, if you wish. Because they are not overly sweet, we especially enjoy these muffins in the afternoon with a robust cup of black tea such as Leopard Blend, French Breakfast, or Grace O'Malley Irish Breakfast. These muffins freeze well. To rewarm, wrap loosely in foil and place in pre-heated 350° oven for 10 minutes. (Heat about 5 minutes longer if muffins are frozen.)
3 cups bran cereal (such as All-Bran)
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dates, golden raisins, OR chopped prunes
1 cup grated carrots
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400°. Line standard muffin tin with paper liners. Alternately, mist non-stick muffin pans with baking spray.
In large mixing bowl, combine bran cereal with water, stirring until evenly moistened; set aside until cool.
When bran mixture is cool, add eggs, buttermilk, oil, grated carrots, and raisins (or other fruit) and mix well.
In another bowl, whisk together baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and flour until thoroughly combined. Gently stir into bran mixture. Do not overmix.
Combine cinnamon and sugar, set aside.
Spoon batter into paper lined 2 1/2-inch muffin cups, filling each cup to 3/4 full. Sprinkle batter lightly with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake in a 400º oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Serve warm with butter, or a mixture of softened cream cheese and butter.