Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

These Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins are my most recent seasonal contribution to the Saturday morning baking category. Sure, when I have a Saturday free, I’d like to be able to make quiche or a French toast casserole or some kind of egg and bread strata. Instead, my feeble brain has had to be content with simple quick breads like Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake or, of course, muffins.

These particular little simple quick breads are quite delicious. The tart, juicy cranberries cut through the sweet pumpkin and spice for something a little different. It seemed like a fabulous idea to combine these two favorite late-fall ingredients so I stashed away the recipe when I came across it. Well, ahem, it took me just a little time to get around to trying it. Okay, maybe more than a little time. Like, the coupon on the bottom of the page on which the recipe is printed expired in January…2009!

Aaaaaanyway, I can now say without further delay that these muffins are delicious. They’re also almost as foolproof as they are tasty. I can attest to this because it was only after I had distributed the muffin batter into my muffin pan that I realized that I forgot to put in the pumpkin. I quickly scraped the batter back into a bowl, stirred in the pumpkin, cleaned out the pan, and tried again with good enough results that nobody would know I had goofed. (This is why my Saturday mornings have to be simple!)


I don’t use paper liners when I make muffins, preferring to just spray the pan well with cooking spray. I reserve liners for cupcakes (which I almost never make). So, if my muffin doesn’t have a paper liner, then it’s not cake, right? That’s one of the major differences between cake and breakfast, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. I think I’ll also keep telling myself to make some more of these muffins.


Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Adapted from an advertisement for Ziploc brand storage containers 

If you use frozen cranberries, there is no need to thaw them.

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
¼ teaspoon fine salt
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned)
1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray (or line them with cupcake liners.)

2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and salt. Whisk together to combine well. Set aside.

3. In another medium-size bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the cooled butter and whisk together to combine well. Add the sugar and brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the pumpkin.

4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir together until just moistened. Stir in the cranberries.

5. Distribute the batter evenly in the muffin pan with each cup being about ¾ full. (I only got 11 muffins from this mixture.) Bake at 375 F for about 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out without any wet batter clinging to it.

6. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely or serve warm.

Makes 11-12 muffins. Freeze leftovers in a zip-top freezer bag.

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