Most days, finding food that everyone likes is beyond my capabilities (snort-laugh here – understatement). Some days, magic happens and I am thanked and complimented and people actually eat the food I prepare. Seriously. These muffins are from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and if I take out the harvest, my kids will eat them. I make 3/4 of a batch plain and add the nuts and berries for the husband. These are a very basic, plain muffin.
Cranberry Harvest Muffins…or not
- 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 (if ginger is “too spicy” for your family, use 1 teaspoon or omit)
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk (I have used 1% and 2% – both great)
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled (this is the step I always forget to do first- microwave for 30-40 seconds – put in fridge for 5 minutes)
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries (this begins the “harvest” – use any dried fruit and nuts you have on hand but hold until you have made 12 muffins without anything else)
- 1/2 cup medium-diced Calimyrna figs
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (this is a lot of sugar which you can cut in half because you are not sweetening the cranberries – of course kids like it full on. experiment)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (same – try taking out 1/4 cup)
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. Fill 12 – then add your harvest of choice to remaining batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Printed from FoodNetwork.com on Sat Mar 6 2010
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Recipe courtesy Open House Cookbook by Sarah Chase, and as reprinted in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Copyright 1999, All Rights Reserved