Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Here's a bran muffin you can trust

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Recipes for tried-and-true bran muffins and matrimonial squares surface today in response to readers' requests.

Dianne Bailey's call for a trusted bran muffin recipe was answered by Hilda Devos who writes, "I have tried many bran muffin recipes over the years, but this is our favourite." And you'll see why. Thanks also to Elsie Chudyk of Fisher Branch, Therese Dumesnil, Susan Gurney, Linda Holovick of Dauphin, L. Snider of Glenboro and Bonnie Stefaniuk of Beausejour.

Jane Ferch shared her mother-in-law Lillian Ferch's recipe for matrimonial squares following a request by Valdine Cosgrove. Thanks also to Yvonne Carroll of Selkirk, R.M. Appel, L. Snider of Glenboro, Berenice Keryluk, Sheila James, Bernice Massey of Selkirk, Lorraine Groenhide, Anne Thoroughgood, April Osnach, Mary Enright and Heida Bottrell for taking time to respond.

Now on to recent requests:

Hilda Andrews is still on the hunt for a recipe to recreate City rye bread.

Can anyone help?

S.K. would love to duplicate the Spanish sauce served at Rae & Jerry's.

Marilyn Bunn requests a Jamaican stir fry recipe.

Lastly, Carol Jarvis would like a recipe to make her own bruschetta.

To respond to one of this week's Recipe Swap requests or send in a request, please write to Recipe Swap, c/o Ilana Simon, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6, send a fax to 697-7412 or e-mail to Please include name, address and daytime telephone number in case any ingredients or directions must be checked.

Breakfast bran muffins

250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) oil
250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
1 egg
30 ml (2 tbsp) molasses
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) natural bran
125 ml (1/2 cup) wheat germ
250 ml (1 cup) whole wheat flour
125 ml (1/2 cup) flax seeds, crushed (optional)
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon
250 ml (1 cup) raisins

Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).

Combine brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg and molasses in large mixing bowl.

Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake at for 15-20 minutes

Taste-tester notes: These wholesome bran muffins are light and moist. If desired, increase cinnamon to 4 ml (1 tsp). You can bake the muffins minus the flax seeds but the flax adds a nice crunch (and heart-healthy benefits). These muffins are lower in fat than many versions owing to the buttermilk.

Matrimonial square

250 g (1/2 pound) dates, cut up
125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
175 ml (3/4 cup) water
2 ml (1/2 tsp) lemon juice
Base & Topping:
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) rolled oats
250 ml (1 cup) packed brown sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
250 ml (1 cup) butter or margarine


In saucepan combine dates, sugar and water. Bring to a boil then simmer until mushy. Add lemon juice.

Allow date mixture to cool.

Base & Topping:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until crumbly.

Press half of the crumb mixture into a greased 2.5-l (9 x 9-inch) pan.

Spread with the date filling, and top with other half of crumbs.

Bake in 180° C (350° F) oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Taste-tester notes: Nothing beats delicious homemade date squares with their pleasant combination of oatmeal and dates. If you prefer a lighter topping, use a little more than half of the crumb mixture for the base. Also you may want to combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt first, and then cut the butter into the other ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. For a smoother finish, feel free to pat down the oatmeal topping with your hands before baking.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2006 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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