04 February, 2016

Cranberry Nut Muffins for a Dreary Winter Day

Getting out of bed on a cold, rainy (or snowy) winter's day is never at the top of my wish list, but the zing of tart-sweet dried cranberries and the savory crunch of pecans -- classic New England combination-- make it tolerable.
2 cups    unbleached all-purpose flour  
1/2 cup    sugar  
1/2 tsp    salt  
1 Tbs    baking powder  
1 cup    dried cranberries  
1/2 cup    chopped pecans (or walnuts)  
1 cup    milk  
1/4 cup    butter or margarine, melted  
2    eggs  
  1.  Preheat your oven to 500°F
  2.  Blend together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) as long and as vigorously as you want. Continue until all dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add the berries and nuts, and stir them until they are evenly coated with the dry ingredients.
  3.  In a separate bowl, beat the liquid ingredients together until they are light.
  4.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. With a fork or wire whisk blend for 20 seconds and no more.  It’s okay if you’ve left some lumps that look as if they want more stirring. Don't give in or you'll have tough muffins.
  5.  Fill the cups of a lightly greased, or paper-cup lined, 12-cup muffin tin three-quarters full. As soon as the muffins are in the oven, immediately drop the oven temperature to 400 degrees.(When you put muffins in a very hot oven initially and then immediately drop the temperature, you help create the peaks that make them so appealing.) Bake for about 20 minutes or until they’re a lovely, golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Best served warm.
The great thing about these muffins is that they are delicious re-warmed the next day...if there are any left.


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