Apple Molasses Sour Cream Bran Muffins

Circle B Kitchen

**1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened or ½ cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, beaten lightly

1 cup sour cream or yogurt

1/4 cup dark molasses

1/2 cup raisins

1 apple, diced

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup miller’s bran (available at natural foods stores, specialty foods shops, and some supermarkets)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

**See note below

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter (or oil) and the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy (will be far less light or fluffy if oil is used), beat in the egg, the sour cream and the molasses. Stir in the raisins, chopped apple and nuts.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the salt, the cinnamon and the bran. Add the dry ingredients to the sour cream mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter will be a little lumpy.)

Spoon the batter into 12 well-buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool.

Makes 12 muffins.

** After receiving a comment from a reader about substituting applesauce for the butter, I gave it a try and it was great. So, if you don't want to use the butter or oil, I just made some baked applesauce (keep some apple chunks in it) and then substituted 1/2 cup (heaping) of the applesauce for the butter and omitted the raw apple. I also used 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 sour cream instead of all sour cream. These came out just great.