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Modern Muffins from a Vintage Book

When I arrived here in California, my Nana and Grandpa were up at the family cabin in the Sierra Nevadas. When they came back a few days later, Nana had a present for me. She had found an old baking book tucked away in the kitchen and thought I might enjoy looking through it.

It’s actually more of a pamphlet than a book. This promotional baking booklet for Clabber Girl Baking Powder was most likely given out for free. The date on the book is 1934 and the funny thing is that I still use Clabber Girl Baking Powder myself today!

The book is filled with good recipes for quick breads, cakes and cookies as well as ‘expert testimony’ as to why Clabber Girl Baking Powder is the best.

Cakes baked with Clabber Girl Baking Powder possess that nice velvety look also good taste which counts so much toward good cake; and foods deliciously prepared create a keen appetite inducing gastric juices to extract from such foods the life-giving substances that nourish the human body.

–What Experts Say in the Clabber Girl Baking Book

One of the recipes that caught my eye was Peach Bran Bread. The recipe uses dried peaches and although this is the season for fresh peach recipes, I just love baking with dried fruit! I know that this isn’t exactly baking season either but as far as I’m concerned, quick breads and muffins are to be enjoyed all year long!

I went out and purchased the peaches and bran and was all set to try out my first recipe from 1934. Then I realized my uncle had some ripe bananas that needed to be used up. My first thought was to make one batch of peach bread and one batch of banana bread but that seemed like an awful lot of bread for three people.

Then I started thinking about combining the flavors. Next thing I knew, I had a new recipe written out and I was making muffins rather than bread. Peachy Banana Bran Muffins were born! These muffins are terrific! And not only do they taste great, they’re good for you too!

The buttermilk, banana, and peaches keep the muffins moist even though they contain very little fat. Then the whole wheat flour, wheat bran and nuts pack in plenty of fiber and protein. These are great when you need a nutritious breakfast on the go!

Peach and Banana Bran Muffins

6 oz. dried peaches (about 1 cup)
boiling water
2 T. vegetable oil
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 C. buttermilk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 C. wheat bran
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. mace (or substitute nutmeg)
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

2. Cover peaches with boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes; drain and cut into coarse pieces.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together oil, egg, buttermilk, bananas and brown sugar; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine both flours, wheat bran, baking powder, soda, salt and mace; whisk together well.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don’t over mix, but make sure the flour on the bottom of the bowl has been stirred in.  Fold in chopped walnuts.

4. Spoon the batter into 12 greased muffin cups, filling the cups to the top.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 – 22 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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