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Friday, January 11, 2008

Cranberries, it's only the beginning

I have recently discovered that I have 4 bags of fresh cranberries that I had put in my freezer. I guess they were on sale during the holidays and I bought them repeatedly and forgot. You know what this means don't you? It means I'm going to be making a lot of things with cranberries in them! Please share with me your cranberry recipes... the more the merrier!

To start off I made Cranberry Streusel Muffins. I searched recipes and, as often happens, I did not find exactly what I was looking for. Why is it that most recipes for anything cranberry call for orange too? YUCK! I absolutely hate anything with orange in it. Not the color mind you, the flavor of an orange makes me shudder, and the smell is even worse. Ack, I'm giving myself the heebies just talking about oranges! I know I can leave out the orange or substitute lemon, but it becomes a mission to actually find a recipe that doesn't have orange in it.

The recipe I actually ended up using is a variation on a recipe for Apple Streusel Muffins. Make the streusel topping first by combining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon. Set aside.

For the muffins, sift together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon. To that, cut in 1/4 cup of vegetable shortening until it resembles fine crumbs. Combine 1 egg (slightly beaten) with 1/2 cup of milk and add the whole thing to the flour mixture and mix until it's all incorporated. This is a very thick batter. Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries and mix.

Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin pan, filling each about 2/3 full.

Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the streusel topping.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Cranberry Streusel Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup shortening
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cranberries


1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender (or fork) until it resembles fine crumbs. Combine egg and milk. Add to dry ingredients all at once and stir until just combined. Stir in cranberries. Spoon batter into paper lined muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Sprinkle each with some of the streusel topping. Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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