Kellogg's Original All-Bran. This is NOT the same as the original Fiber One cereal. When it comes to the flakes, I buy what's cheapest. This time I used the Kroger brand, which are 40% bran, I think.
And since this recipe originates in the 70's it calls for shortening. Some people balk at using shortening these days. For the most part, I don't. Probably because I don't use it very often, so I don't feel like I'm constantly clogging my arteries with horrible trans fats. Plus all that bran probably scrubs it right out. If you do the math, it boils down to 1 teaspoon of shortening per muffin. If that's just too much for you, you can sub the shortening for a stick of softened butter + 1/2 cup of applesauce. However, if you make this substitution, I can't vouch for it's moistness (since I never do it myself) and your batter will have a shorter shelf life: one month vs. seven weeks.
Which brings me to the beauty of this recipe. It makes enough batter for 4 dozen muffins. You can bake them all at once, or store some of the batter in the fridge for the next time you get a craving. The recipe will divide perfectly into four, 1 quart jars. Each jar makes a dozen muffins. I think it makes a great neighbor gift for holidays when people are overloaded on sweets and super-rich foods.
If you do decide to store the batter in jars, might I suggest you use
wide-mouth jars (for easier scooping) and take a trip to Wal-mart to buy
some of these handy-dandy babies:
Okay, enough talk. Here's the recipe:
ICEBOX BRAN MUFFINS
2 cups 100% bran cereal (All-Bran)
2 cups boiling water
1 cup shortening (or 1 stick of softened butter + 1/2 cup applesauce)
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 quart buttermilk (low-fat is fine)
5 cups all-purpose flour
5 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
4 cups bran flakes cereal
To make batter:
In a medium bowl, pour boiling water over 100% bran (All-Bran) and let cool.
In a very large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar; add eggs, buttermilk, and bran and water mixture. Stir in flour, soda, salt, and bran flakes until thoroughly combined. Store batter in 4, 1 quart mason jars in the refrigerator up to seven weeks (unless you made it with butter and applesauce, then you can keep it up to one month).
To make muffins:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line a muffin tin. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and tops spring back when pressed. (Mine are usually done right at 16 minutes.) Store muffins in an airtight container up to one week - if they last that long!