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Apricot-Wheat Germ Muffins
“Nutty toasted wheat germ and tangy dried apricots give these muffins a homey, satisfying flavor. Plumping dried fruit before adding it to the batter keeps the muffins moist.”
¾ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup orange juice, divided
1 cup whole-wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ,divided
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk, (see Tip)
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
2Combine apricots and ¼ cup orange juice in a small bowl. Cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on High for 1 minute. (Alternatively, bring to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat.) Set aside to plump.
3Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, ¾ cup wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
4Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, oil, orange zest, vanilla and remaining ¼ cup orange juice. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Add the plumped apricots and juice and mix just until blended. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon wheat germ.
5Bake the muffins until lightly browned and the tops spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges and turn the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: the ratio is 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
DIY Muffin Cups: Make your next batch of muffins or cupcakes the ultimate grab-and-go treat by lining your tin with muffin liners. No liners? No problem. Use 5-inch squares of parchment paper, coat each muffin cup with cooking spray, and push each square into the cups using a small can or bottle, pressing the paper up the sides. (It's OK if some of the paper is sticking out over the rim.) Fill each cup as directed.