Bran Muffins

The Danish word hygge has no direct English translation. If you ask any Dane, they’ll give you a list of near-synonyms like coziness, security, fellowship, or well being, but they’ll always follow it up with the assertion that none of these words could ever hope to describe hygge correctly. Hygge is a way of life, they’ll tell you. It’s the Danish culture.

When I lived in Denmark last year, I experienced many things that were totally different than anything I had ever done before. But the culture of hygge was a constant in my life, following me from New York to Copenhagen. To the Danes, hygge means lighting a few dozen candles, inviting your friends and family over, sitting in front of a crackling fire, staying up late talking and laughing the night away, and most importantly, eating good food. At the end of the night, when you’re all exhausted and ready to pile into the car for the drive home, you give your hosts a big hug and say “Tusind tak. Det var hyggelig.” 

Even though my parents and siblings had never heard that word until I brought it back with me in May, I can’t think of a better way to describe our family dynamic. Many nights at the Campanelli house are spent next to a roaring fire, a cup of mint tea in one hand and a muffin in the other, with the five of us reading together at the kitchen table. This is what family is to us. Our recipe has evolved over the past ten years, just as we all have. But to me and Julia, there’s nothing more hyggelig in the world than walking through the front door to smell fresh bran muffins baking in the oven.



2 cups raw bran (Bob’s Red Mill or Kellogg’s All-Bran Cereal)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ - ¾ cup raisins
3 tbsp. cinnamon
1 orange, zested 

1 ½ cups rice milk
½ cup olive oil
1 egg
1 tbsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400F on convection bake. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to dry. If the batter looks too dry, add more rice milk and oil in proportion.
Bake for 26 minutes.

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