Oatmeal Muffins (Cook’s Illustrated)

We’ve been eating a lot of toast for breakfast recently, so it was time to restock the freezer with some baked goods. I was surprised to find out that I’d never tried these muffins before. And while they were unmistakably full of oatmeal, sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing.

Oatmeal Muffins

The recipe is courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated. It made more sense to me to make the muffin batter first, rather than the topping, since the former needs to rest for 20 minutes. After I fried (yes, really) the old-fashioned oats in butter until they smelled like popcorn, I let the pan cool while assembling the other ingredients. The completed batter is quite liquid, but does thicken upon resting. During this time, I made the topping, using walnuts instead of pecans.

I sprayed a 12-cup tin with PAM, and then dusted it with flour. The batter completely filled the cups and then some. To be safe, I placed the tin on a baking sheet to catch any spills. I needed 25 minutes to fully bake these muffins.

Oatmeal Muffins

These muffins were pretty lacklustre. I found the taste to be a little one-dimensional, maybe there’s too much oatmeal (2 full cups in the batter). Or maybe browning the oatmeal in butter brings out some undesirable flavours. Or maybe my “whisk folding” technique needs some work to make a more tender product. In any case, when the topping is the best part of the muffin, you know it’s not a good sign. I’d be willing to give this recipe another trial, but only because I believe in CI’s process.

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