Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cranberry Harvest Muffins

I still have leftover frozen cranberries in the freezer, and was looking to make something special for our breakfast this past weekend. Hmm.. yum! This was very hearty, and light at the same time. I had to restrain myself from adding grated orange zest into the batter, because cranberry just goes wonderfully with orange flavoring. And I'm glad that I did, this recipe didn't have to be modified too much.

I did however make a few substitutions because I didn't want to have to go out and get some more stuff to bake this. I ended up using a low-fat milk (since this was the only thing we had at home), raisins (instead of figs), and chopped pecans (instead of hazelnut).

Another thing that I liked about this recipe is that you can prepare the batter a day ahead and bake them in the morning. Anything that I can do in the evening to make my morning less hectic is a big do in my dictionary.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup medium-diced Calimyrna figs
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir quickly just to combine. Add the cranberries, figs, hazelnuts, and both sugars and stir just to distribute the fruits, nuts, and sugar evenly throughout the batter.

Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Yield: 18 LARGE muffins

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