oatmeal muffins, via vintage recipe

wpid-20150217_112842.jpgwpid-20150217_112904.jpgReady for the third installment in Helen’s Recipe Box? While I still haven’t decided on an official project name, you can read more about what I’m doing here. The quick version is that I’ve finally started going through the two recipe boxes I inherited from my mom’s Aunt Helen when she passed away nearly 10 years ago.

Thus far, I’ve made date bread and guacamole and my hope for this post was to make something in the Main Dish category. But because it took until this morning to start flipping through the recipe cards and I had to leave for the day right before lunch, I knew I needed something that would come together quickly and be photo-ready in daylight hours. The Quickbread section won me over once again with its simple-to-make Oatmeal Muffins. That they contained buttermilk was a bonus as I’ve been trying to burn through a 25-pound bag of buttermilk powder purchased years ago from a bakery that was shutting its doors.

wpid-20150217_110029.jpgThe muffins went together while I was on the phone with a friend–it was that easy. With 1 cup oats and 1/2 cup flour, the batter seemed small, but Great-aunt Helen lived alone, and the nine-muffin batch would have been perfect in her kitchen. She may have whipped them up to take on the camping and hiking trips she enjoyed so much, or maybe would grab one for breakfast before she hopped the city bus (Helen didn’t own a car) for her job in the Department of Social Work at the University of Minnesota.

No matter when Helen enjoyed these muffins, I can see why she kept the recipe. While they won’t win Extreme Flavor awards, these muffins were lovely and ordinary in the best way. The list of ingredients reads like a bowl of oatmeal and that’s as good a flavor description as any.wpid-20150217_112721.jpgPaired with a salad, they made a lovely lunch and my husband has already set one aside for breakfast.wpid-20150217_112405.jpgBeing as plain as they are, these muffins are a great canvas for add-ins: nuts, chocolate, dried or fresh fruit, cacao nibs are only a few that would work marvelously well. (That’s a descriptor Great-aunt Helen would have used: “marvelously well.”)

Next week, we’ll find a beverage to accompany these muffins as the fourth installment of Cocktail U goes to (Word)press. Until then, get baking!wpid-20150217_112345.jpgGreat-aunt Helen’s Oatmeal Muffins

  • Β 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg

Heat oven to 400ΒΊF. Line 9 muffin cups with paper lines or coat with nonstick spray.

In large bowl, stir together oats and buttermilk; set aside while gathering other ingredients.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In small bowl, stir together melted butter and egg; stir into oat mixture. Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until mixed. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Makes 9 muffins.

47 thoughts on “oatmeal muffins, via vintage recipe

    • It’s pretty cool, Suzanne, to have such a direct link to her past. We won’t be able to pass that sort of thing on so much as so many of our recipes are found online. Though maybe those will be our archives?

      Have been surprised by the popularity of this simple recipe. Pretty cool, I think. Glad folks are ok with not-exotic as that’s where I spend a lot of my time.

      As always, so glad you’re here. Thanks for all of the support you offer πŸ™‚

  1. Great looking basic muffins which as you mentioned could take on so many different add ins. Basics are essential in every kitchen. Kudos to Aunt Helen! Can’t wait to see the cocktail that goes with this next week.

  2. Great pics! I love how the muffins appear to be dancing around the cooling rack. These sound good, will you be making them again with any of the additions? Sounds like a good venue for nuts and raisins to me!!

    • Thanks πŸ™‚ Yes, I’ll make the muffins again as they’re already gone. Took two to a friend and we’ve managed to wipe the others out. Though one I left out on the table after the “photo shoot,” then had to leave for the day. When I came home, there were crumbs everywhere and a liner that had been licked clean. Turns out our new little kitty likes oatmeal muffins. Sheesh. We also have an older cat and she’s never touched our food, even when offered. This kitty is turning out to be quite the scamp.

      Yes, oatmeal raisin muffins. That sounds perfect. Though I liked them plain, too. Nutmeg would be nice. Apple cinnamon?

  3. So many current recipes seem so tarted up with exotic ingredients–I love Helen’s simple, straightforward approach to cooking good, normal, everyday food. And I like the way you give us tidbits about here as you share the recipe!

    • Thanks, Kerry. Can see that this would be right up your alley. I’m all about simple and basic, too. No time for everything else and so often the exotic ingredients distract from the flavor. From the little I know of you, you would have liked Helen very much. She would have LOVED your weavings and such. Wish I had her linens, too. Should ask my mom where they went. Would be a shame if they went to a thrift store, but I bet that’s what happened. Sadly, I wouldn’t have been interested in vintage linens 10 years ago 😦 At least I have the recipes! Appreciate your kind comment very much.

  4. I prefer the ones with little brown edges, how I like my cookies. Sounds much better than a bowl of soon-to-be-tepid oatmeal or gruel. Oliver would have preferred Helen’s muffins any day. I liked this phrase: “ordinary in the best way.” Some mornings, I am astounded as to how pleasing a piece of rye toast and butter is, just the simplicity of it. No fancy truffle oil or foam or remoulade needed. Of course, they ARE a blank canvas, ripe for add-ins, if need be!

    • Agreed, Kerbey, the browned tops were the best. More flavor and texture. And lol, absolutely better than gruel. Did you know that the soundtrack from Oliver is an all-time favorite? I like it better than Sound of Music 0-:

      Your rye toast with butter sounds dreamy. No need for oils and foams, especially at breakfast.

  5. You’ve provided me with 2 things today, Liz… These delicious Aunt Helen muffins and knowledge. I NEVER knew there was such a thing as buttermilk powder! Hmm…how did I not know that, lol! I’m loving this series. πŸ™‚

    • Glad I could help, Nancy πŸ˜‰ Buttermilk powder is also sold in small canisters in stores, but I bought a humongous bag, which then got divided up into many many ziplocs which have been in my freezer a long time. I try to use it often, but at 1/4 cup or so at a time, it moves slowly.

      Appreciate your kind words very much. Thanks for being here!

    • Thanks, Steven! Did you really make the muffins? I need to make another batch as the nine muffins didn’t last long. Doubling the recipe would be smart. Appreciate you coming over.

      • I did have good intentions, but it’s summer here in Melbourne and the hot temperatures are more conducive to eating the cold muffin mixture with a spoon rather than placing it in a very hot oven!!

  6. Wow! Treasure boxes. πŸ™‚ How nice of your Aunt Helen to bequeath you her original recipes. These oatmeal muffins are simple and easy to make. I could have them for breakfast with milk. Thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • That’s exactly what they are, Anna–treasure boxes. Good call! Would say I was bequeath the recipes so much as my mom gave them to me because she knew I was into food. Funny how they’ve sat untouched by me for nearly a decade. Thrilled that the blog has given me the nudge to start flipping through. Appreciate you visiting and thrilled if you like the muffins πŸ™‚

      • My pleasure, Liz. ‘So kind and thoughtful of your mom to do so. Thank you for sharing the recipe to us. πŸ˜€
        We are snowed in, so I will make it for breakfast tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Have a great weekend. πŸ™‚

    • I think she’d be surprised, Karen. She’d wonder what all the fuss was about. But yes, she’d at least secretly be pleased. Just put together the cocktail to accompany, so hope you find that is well. It’s not tea, but I like how you’re thinking. Thanks for coming over πŸ™‚

  7. Pingback: milk with a punch | food for fun

    • I’ve been amazed at the popularity of these muffins–had no idea something so “plain” would be so well-received. She was pretty cool for the times, yes. Finding crazy recipes in her box! Stay tuned πŸ™‚ Thanks for coming over, Sophie. You were busy here today!

  8. I would like these oatmeal muffins, since I love oatmeal. I wondered how they may taste if you used brown sugar instead of white? I like the idea of adding raisins, but the original recipe sounds delicious!

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