Showing posts with label Irish oatmeal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Irish oatmeal. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Irish Oatmeal Cookie Muffins for St. Patrick's Day from Cleo Coyle

Cleo Coyle, who is a wee bit
Irish every March 17, is also
author of The Coffeehouse

On March 17, everyone is a little bit Irish, at least here in New York City. Our St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of the biggest of the year.

Hot coffee is a must for me and my husband on those cold March mornings when we line up with our fellow New Yorkers to applaud New York's Finest (of the NYPD) and its Bravest (of the FDNY) as they march up Fifth Avenue.

If you've never been to the NYC parade, allow me to take you. (I shared these photos last year, as well, but we have so many new site visitors and followers, I thought I'd share them once again...)

Portable food is always a good idea for St. Pat's Day parade watching, especially when it’s green. Last year, I baked a special batch of St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Pistachio Muffins, using ricotta cheese. To get a PDF of that recipe, click here or on the photo below.

This year, I have something as delicious and even more nutritious: an oatmeal muffin that tastes like a fresh-baked oatmeal cookie, redolent with the flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins.

A few notes on the recipe
before we start cooking...

You may wonder why I'm calling these "Irish" Oatmeal Cookie Muffins. Don't worry, you don't need any special oats to make these muffins (I use plain old Quaker brand "old fashioned" rolled oats). One reason I call these muffins "Irish" is because I soak my rolled oats in buttermilk overnight, which is a technique borrowed from the directions of McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal.

So what's the difference
between steel cut oats and rolled oats?

Steel cut oats (right), such as McCann's Irish Oatmeal, are whole oats that have been chopped up a bit. Rolled oats (left), such as Quaker Old Fashioned, are whole oats that have been literally rolled flat. "Quick cooking" oats are rolled oats that have been chopped up even further so they'll cook faster.

(Click here to visit McCann's site. Again, you don't need these oats to make my muffins, but if you're curious about trying them, and they're not in your local grocery, you can always use their online store.)

There is no significant difference in nutrition or dietary fiber between these different types of oats, simply taste. When you cook the steel cut oats (right), they're chewier and nuttier in flavor and texture than rolled oats (left).

For my own recipe today, if you use rolled oats, your muffin will be tender and cake-like in the crumb. If you use the steel cut version, you'll get a chewier texture with a slight nutty flavor, as if you've added chopped walnuts to the muffin. So it's your choice! Have fun!

To learn more about the difference between these two oats, click here or on the photo above and you'll jump to a web page with more info.

And now for the recipe!


So what’s the big-deal benefit about eating whole grains like oatmeal? For one thing, fiber-rich whole grains take longer to break down in your body, which means your glucose levels will remain more constant instead of shooting up and crashing down (so you won’t be craving another snack an hour later). Paired with a warm cuppa joe or freshly brewed tea, one of these muffins is deliciously filling, easily curbing the appetite between meals. Eat with joy! ~ Cleo

To download a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Makes 6 standard muffins


1 cup buttermilk (low fat is fine or make your own, see how at end of recipe)
½ cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick cooking, I use Quaker brand; for a chewier, nuttier texture use steel cut, such as John McCann's Irish Oatmeal)
1 egg
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola (or vegetable) oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose white or “white whole wheat” flour (see note below)*
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

*On the “white whole wheat” flour in this recipe: The King Arthur brand is especially nice. It's a lighter kind of whole wheat flour that gives you the fiber and nutrition benefits of whole grain but with a taste and texture closer to white flour. According to the King Arthur web site, you can substitute "white whole wheat" flour for all-purpose flour at a 1:1 ratio. While this won’t work in an angel food cakes or puff pastry, you can get good results using it in cookies, muffins, brownies, quick breads, and yeast breads. Learn more by clicking here.

Step 1 – Soak oats overnight: Very easy. Combine the buttermilk and rolled oats in a bowl or plastic container. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight (or at least six hours before making muffins). This soaking will soften the rolled oats, giving your final muffin a tender cake-like crumb. (If using steel cut oats, the muffin will be chewier and nuttier, but the soaking is still necessary to soften the hard grain.)


Rolled oats combined
with buttermilk.

Photo above is before soaking.
Photo below is after soaking overnight.
To make the same day, soak 6 hours.

Step 2 – Make batter: Crack egg into a mixing bowl and beat lightly with a fork, add buttermilk and oat mixture (from Step 1), dark brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, raisins. Stir well to combine. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and stir to create a lumpy dough. Do not over-mix at this stage or you’ll create gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender.

Step 3 – Bake: Pre-heat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Line muffin cups with paper liners and lightly spray the papers and top of your muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. (This dough is low in fat and may stick to your papers otherwise.)

Using two tablespoons, drop the sticky dough into the muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake in a well pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until top of muffin is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with no wet batter on it. Remove pan from oven.


NOTE: If muffins remain in the hot pan, the bottoms may steam and become tough. Remove muffins from pan as soon as possible. Finish cooling on a rack and . . . Eat with joy!


Buttermilk adds a wonderfully bright tang to recipes, deepening the complexity of flavor beyond plain milk. To make your own "sour milk" replacement for buttermilk, simply place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or white vinegar) into a measuring cup and fill it with milk until the liquid reaches the 1 cup line. Allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature, then use as you would buttermilk in any recipe.

Drink with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:

Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.


A final, quick note for our mystery reading fans.
The latest Mystery Readers Journal with the theme Hobbies, Crafts, and Special Interests is now available.

The issue, edited by Mystery Fanfare's Janet Rudolph, includes many mystery authors who have guest posted for us over the past year. You can check out the contents by clicking here, which will also give you info on how to purchase a copy (hard or electronic) for yourself.