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Editor's note: Each Saturday morning we bring you a Sunday Brunch recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.
To me, muffins have never been the most enticing food. There's something about the overly sweet, sticky lumps sitting in a cardboard box in my office kitchen that I've always found disconcerting. But the lightly toasted bran, and sweet, soft, boozy raisins make this recipe a muffin I crave. Bran may not be the flashiest muffin, but it's the simplicity of the flavors in this recipe that drew me in. If you end up with any leftover muffins the following morning I recommend cutting a muffin in half, smearing it in butter, then searing the buttered side in a hot pan until crisp.
Toasting the bran in the oven is an essential step in making these muffins special; make sure to toss the bran at least once while it's in the oven. If possible, let the raisins sit in brandy until they're fully hydrated, but if you're in a rush and decide to put them over some low heat to expatiate the process, please be very careful. Brandy and too much heat will ignite, and although flambé can be fun it's far less so if it's unexpected. On that note, if you're out of brandy try bourbon or rum, or any other dark alcohol that you've got sitting around.