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.

3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup orange juice, divided
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk (see Tip)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  • Combine apricots and 1/4 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.
  • Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, oil, orange zest, vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup orange juice. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Add apricots and mix just until blended. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon wheat germ.
  • Bake 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 muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly.

Tip:
You can use buttermilk powder in place of fresh buttermilk. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

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