Yesterday, my sister-in-law, Terry, asked me to post my recipe for cranberry nut muffins. I had completely forgotten about these flavor-packed muffins!
The ingredients include a lovely mix of cranberries, pecans, orange zest, and cinnamon.
An interesting tidbit about cranberries — each cranberry has four interior chambers that hold pockets of air.
The air pockets allow the berries to float, a characteristic farmers use to their advantage when it comes time to harvest.
During the spring and summer, the berries grow in fields called bogs. In the fall, farmers flood the bogs and use a harvesting machine to dislodge the berries that then float to the surface. There is more to the story that can be found here.
In most recipes calling for cranberries, you can use fresh or frozen. I would not use dried cranberries which are sweetened and have lost much of their nutritional value in the process. For this batch of muffins, I used last year’s frozen berries because that is what I had on hand. When using frozen berries, do not defrost them before measuring or chopping. If you see a berry that is shriveled up, discard it.
I used self-rising flour. If you do not have any, substitute with 2 cups of regular flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of fine salt.
Yield: 12 small or 8 large muffins.
1¼ cup whole cranberries
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ cup pecan halves
zest from ½ half a medium orange
1 large egg
¾ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (8½ oz.) self-rising flour, (measured using the spoon and level method)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup butter, softened and sliced
Preheat oven to 375º. Line muffin tin with paper liners or grease each muffin cup.
Place cranberries, ⅓ cup of sugar, pecans, and orange zest in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are rough-chopped. Be careful not to over-process.
Measure milk in a liquid measuring cup. Add egg and vanilla to the cup. Whisk ingredients together.
Place flour, cinnamon, and ⅓ cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk these dry ingredients together. Add butter slices. Using a wire pastry blender, combine ingredients until there are no more large clumps of butter. See photo below for guidance on what the texture should look like.
Gently stir in milk mixture until just blended. Fold in cranberry mixture. For a light and airy muffin, stir as little as possible.
Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to fill the muffin cups. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of sugar over each muffin to crisp up the top when baked. If making large muffins, use a whole teaspoon of sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle oven rack. Muffins are done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If you would like to brown the tops a little more, move tin to the upper oven rack and bake for 3 more minutes.
Thank you, Terry, for reminding me about these muffins! I’m glad to have the recipe at my fingertips, again.
Check out the Thanksgiving Menu for Tday dinner ideas.
Other Cranberry Recipes:
Mrs. Walker’s Cranberry Nut Pie
Hot Pepper Jelly or Cranberry Brie Bites
Grandma’s Cranberry Chutney
Sautéed Collards (or Swiss Chard), Toasted Pine Nuts and Cranberries
Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, and Cranberries
Sorghum, Oats, and Cranberry Granola
Oats, Sorghum, Ginger and Cranberry Cookies
Always check my blog for the latest version of a recipe.
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