Fresh cherries brighten bran muffins

I’m going to be spending a few days with my butter-loving, almost-two-year-old granddaughter who most appreciates a bit of butter on a muffin. I usually bake up a batch of Bran Date Muffins for her — one of her favorites. This time I decided to try something new.

In May, my book club read "This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader," by Joan Dye Gussow. The book is a toss up of part gardening book, part novel and part memoir that gives the reader an easy and casual education about organic gardening and sustainable living. Everyone in my group enjoyed the book tremendously.

Gussow scatters several recipes throughout the book. Cherry Bran Wheat Germ Muffins are adapted from her recipe for blueberry muffins.

These muffins are moist and flavorful. My granddaugther will vote in on them in the morning when she tastes them for the first time.

I ate one still warm from the oven. Without butter. Delicious.

Cherry Bran Wheat Germ Muffins

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups buttermillk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups quartered fresh pitted cherries

With a whisk, beat 3 eggs in a large mixing bowl until light. Add brown sugar and blend well. Add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extract. Whisk to blend well. Use a wooden spoon to mix in wheat germ and oat bran. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the mixing bowl. Stir until mixed. Gently stir in the cherries.

Spoon batter into greased muffin cups. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to cooling rack. Makes 24 muffins.

These muffins freeze well.