A true sign of a food lover is how long it takes them to explore a new food shop. For me, it can take an hour or more depending on the size of the store. I go up and down every aisle looking carefully at what is offered. Most of the time I purchase way more stuff than I intended, but I leave happy with a multitude of recipe ideas spinning around in my mind.
When I visit Mom at her
apartment, we often venture a few
miles to the east on U.S. Highway 50 to Tipton and the Dutch Bakery and Bulk Food Store. Owned by a Mennonite family, the store has been around for more
than 25 years. Sedalia,
This place is ingredient heaven. Besides the bakery, with its delicious aromas filling the air, and fresh produce section, there are aisle after aisle of bulk food items, already bagged and ready to buy. I always come home with a grocery sack full of ingredients—some I need and some I want to play around with in recipes.
Dried cherries and pecans from my last visit inspired this recipe for Cherry Oatmeal Muffins. It is based on a basic oatmeal muffin recipe I got from the parent of one of my preschool students in
Hampshire many, many years ago. I added dried
cherries, chopped pecans and cinnamon to the mix, with tasty results.
What I like most about this recipe is it makes not-too-sweet muffins. For me, this is the perfect breakfast muffin, as opposed to the more common ones that are almost like eating cake. (Actually, I have eaten cake for breakfast before, usually the morning after my birthday. Isn't that a rule?)
The recipe is easy to mix up, making it possible to bake a batch while the coffee brews. Served with milk, tea, or coffee, these Cherry Oatmeal Muffins are a delicious way to start the day.
Cherry Oatmeal Muffins
1 cup milk
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, well-beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 cup dried cherries (chopped if the cherries are very big)
1 cup chopped pecans
Pour the milk into a measuring cup or small bowl. Add the oatmeal, stir, and let stand for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the cups of a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. To the milk-oatmeal mixture, add the egg and oil, and stir to combine. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the ingredients are just combined. Then fold in the dried cherries and pecans.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown. Serve warm.