Morning Star, Power, or Hero Muffins

The Star of Hurricane Katrina.

Makes 48 muffins.  They do well in the freezer once baked.



  • 1 20 oz box of Raisin Bran cereal (must be regular type raisin bran or flakes won’t dissolve in liquid ingredients)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 cups flour
  • 5 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp gnd cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp gnd cloves
  • 1 tsp gnd nutmeg
  • 1 tsp gnd ginger
  • Add additional nuts and dried fruit up to 2 cups (I used dried cranberries, dried apricots and pecans)
  • ??? - 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom - ???


  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 T vanilla


Preheat oven to 400.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Stir wet ingredients together in a separate bowl – whisk eggs first then add other wet ingredients.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Mix well by hand.

Let stand for about 20 minutes for the bran flakes to soften.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.  Bake 15-18 minutes.

Batter will last up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Lessons learned: If you make them, they will come. This is a great "waybread" solution for travelers. Ed has taken them flying on rescue missions and on week-long business trips. Captain Callahan gets a devious look when the muffins arrive.

These muffins are lifesavers, literally. Lary Bloom calls them Hero Muffins.

I heard a couple of days ago from Edward Beale, a particular hero of mine. He was one of those selfless holicopter pilots who flew into the teeth of Hurricane Katrina, and then rescued victims from rooftops. Last summer, I wrote about him for Connecticut magazine and in the piece emphasized the role "power muffins" played. These were baked by Beale's wife, Michelle, before each mission, and then stuffed into her husband's flight suit. Though intended initially as emergency rations for him many muffins landed in the hands and deprived stomachs of refugees from the hardest hit neighborhoods of New Orleans.

In the time since, I had thought of the Beales' contributions to the relief effort often -- they were lost in the fury over FEMA's ineptitude and apparent indifference. What Edward Beale did, risk life and limb, and tirelessly, will be fully acknowledged only in the stiff language of U.S. Coast Guard citations he'll hang on his wall. Even so, I thought in time the Bealeses of the world would get their due. Who would have thought that brain tumor would intrude.

Edward's email to friends gave the details, and that Michelle had just recovered from surgery. He asked everyone to send their best wishes to her, which I did, with a request that he send me the recipe for the power muffins. In that way, we could honor Michelle at the dinner table.

We baked the muffins the other day. You will do yourself a favor if you make them yourselves. When you call up the recipe below, you'll see that they are named Morning Star muffins as well as Power Muffins. However, I will call them Hero Muffins.

Edited 11/13/06

Original Recipe from (unknown)

Baked Goods

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