It may only be November but Lifetime and the Hallmark channel have been showing Christmas movies for over a month already. I secretly love it because nothing keeps me company on a busy cooking day better than a great Hallmark Christmas movie. I know, I know. The movies have predictable story lines, cheesy actors and unrealistically happy endings but I can't help but be drawn into the Hallmark movie vortex. They're so sickeningly sweet that I'm fairly sure I've gotten cavities just from watching them but they're also a great escape from the stresses of holiday baking.
Let me be clear. I am under no disillusionment that there is a town somewhere in America that gets so wrapped up in a holiday baking competition that every single citizen is waiting with baited breath in the middle of the town square to hear which underdog will be crowned holiday baking champion of the Winter Carnival. But somehow, being drawn into that world for a few hours gives me the escape that I need when I'm standing at my counter decorating sugar cookies for hours at a time.
Maybe I'm paying attention to all the wrong details but have you ever noticed the cute little small town bakeries and coffee shops that are featured in all of the Hallmark Christmas movies? Seriously - the CUTEST. The counters are full of trays of freshly baked croissants, Christmas cookies, cupcakes and muffins and the bakers look well rested, relaxed, neat and tidy and always wearing a clean apron. Outside of the movies, there isn't a baker on the planet who looks like after a full day of baking that but I still like to escape to the fantasy Hallmark world for a while.
I think I'd just like to do the baking for a Hallmark Christmas movie some day. I certainly wouldn't look well rested or tidy by the time I finished but it would be fun to create the beautiful pastries that dawn the countertops of a movie set bakery. For all I know, they pastries in those glass cases aren't even real. They probably use plastic food so that it never looks dry or leaves crumbs on the plate but I choose to live in Hallmark utopia where all of the muffins and cupcakes are fresh from the oven and taste as delicious as they appear.
On more than one occasion, Hallmark movies have had me drooling over the buttery scones and crunchy biscotti that the actors are nibbling while trying to settle their conflicts over the corporate takeover of a small town bakery. One movie in particular, had the most decadent looking muffins that the urge to eat a warm muffin was so great that I just had to stop what I was doing in the middle of the afternoon and whip up a batch of blueberry muffins. I felt like these Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins might be worthy of being displayed under a glass dome on the counter of a Hallmark movie bakery.
Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 cup milk or milk substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 Tablespoons raw sugar
Bake 25 minutes at 350. (For jumbo muffins)
I have a lot of muffin recipes (42 to be exact) and a LOT of them have blueberries. So what makes this Oatmeal Blueberry Muffin recipe any different? For starters, this recipe can be made completely dairy free. It contains no butter and it can be made with almond milk instead of cow's milk. I also feel like these muffins have a healthy component because they have both flour and oats. I would really like to do some experimenting with this recipe to see if I could make it even healthier. My initial thoughts are to swap the white flour with whole wheat flour and substitute maple syrup for the white sugar. I'll keep you posted on the results of those tests in the future. 🤞🏻
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