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Recipe of the Week

Detail of Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

A great dish for dessert or breakfast, these filled crepes are quick and easy to make, full of wonderful flavor, and make any occasion special.

Irish Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

I love oats. No, seriously. I think I would even eat them raw. I like my oatmeal only half cooked (and have it every other day for breakfast) and when making oatmeal cookies and other baked goods will frequently double (or even triple!) the amount of oats in the recipe. That is why I was skeptical when a friend shared an oatmeal muffin recipe that called for soaking oats overnight and called it the "Irish" way of making oatmeal muffins. Now I know that in Ireland it is traditional to simmer oatmeal for hours - usually overnight - so it is super rich and creamy in the morning. And the most common Irish oats are steel cut and extra hearty...but I still had my doubts. After trying the recipe and tweaking a few things, I discovered that the muffins were indeed excellent. Even though the oats are all cooked and not raw! Don't let the long total recipe time scare you - most if it is taken up by the oats sitting in a bowl overnight and do not require any attention on your part. The muffins themselves whip together in seconds and are moist and delicious. They also store very well and freeze. You can substitute other dried fruit, like golden raisins, currants, dried diced apples, dates, or cranberries and will have equally delicious muffins. I like these best made with the mix of oat flour and whole wheat flour, but you can use all oat, whole wheat, or even plain old regular flour.

2 cups buttermilk
1 cup steel cut or rolled oats
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Mix the buttermilk and oats in a medium bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease or line 24 muffin pans. Beat the sugar, molasses, butter, and eggs together in a large bowl until well-blended. Add the buttermilk soaked oats and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until mixed. Fill the prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and cooked through. Serve hot, or remove from the muffin tins and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 24 muffins.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Soaking Time: 8 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

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