Friday, December 2, 2011

Cranberry Harvest Muffins

Happy beginning of December!  The air is getting cooler, days are getting shorter, and soon the Holiday Season will be upon us.  This morning I felt inspired to make something festive and these Cranberry Harvest Muffins did just the trick!  Just the name alone is alluring, but once you break apart these perfectly spiced muffins, you'll feel transported to a warm and cozy place.

Makes about 18 large muffins

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 milk
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped dried cranberries
3/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (see directions for how to)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar


For the hazelnuts:

Spread the nuts in a single layer onto a baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.

Once the nuts have been toasted, pour the nuts into a clean kitchen towel, grab the corners to bundle it up, and rub the nuts against each other inside the towel, until most of the skin comes off.  Not all of the skin will come off, but that's fine, you just want to get most of the skin off.

For the muffins:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.  Add 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 (you don’t want to over mix or you’ll get lumpy muffins).  Add the cranberries, hazelnuts, and both sugars and stir just to distribute the fruit, 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.  Place the muffins on a rack to cool and enjoy!

These muffins are so versatile you can enjoy them for breakfast, a midday snack, or savor them for dessert.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
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Erin Turner said...

Yay!!! I'm your first follower...and number one fan! Can you freeze one of those muffins for me until the next time I see you? ;)

Chelsea said...

Yay!! Thanks Erin! I'll freeze two for you!

Erin said... know me too well! One would never be enough! :) xoxo

Aunt Dee said...

Wow, what a wonderful baker you are, you and Nicole both love baking. I wish I lived closer so I could sample, but than again their is always snail mail

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