Saturday, November 27, 2010

Autumn Muffins: Applesauce, Cranberries and Pecans

I have come to love the little routines we have now. Before, the closest thing we had to regular routines around our home was whatever class schedule Mr. Devlin was on and what time I needed to get to work. And now? It's like we are real grown ups with schedules for the kids that they can count on.
And among the pattern is the institute of fresh muffins for weekend breakfast. We do consume large amounts of blueberry muffins and chocolate zucchini muffins; but I am also always in the market for different flavors as well.

This particular muffin is nice for several reasons: it has a lighter, cake like texture and it uses several shelf-stable pantry items, which makes it more likely that I'll have those items at hand for another batch.

Preheat your oven to 375, Roxanne and spray and line 12 large muffin cups. 

You will need:

1 cup butter (or *sigh* margarine)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups applesauce
2 cups dried cranberries (or raisins) soaked in hot water, then drained
cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves according to taste
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) *optional

cream butter and sugar
forgive fat finger in frame
In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until well-blended, light and fluffy as you would for a cake. Scrape down the bowl before beating in the eggs and vanilla.
dry ingredients to wet

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Remove a tablespoon of the flour blend to toss your dried cranberries and nuts with. (this helps the "float" in the batter instead of sinking to the bottom of the muffin--use this any time you are adding berries to a batter)

Add in half of the dry ingredients before adding in the applesauce. In my case I used 3 4 oz jars of stage 2 pear puree (baby food....yes, I'm still using that stuff up!). Mix briefly before adding the remaining dry ingredients. Remove the mixer bowl and fold in the cranberries and nuts with a spatula. 
folding in the cranberries
and nuts
topped with oatmeal streusel
Scoop into prepared tins and top with a streusel topping if you desire. Blend 1/2 stick of butter with 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup oatmeal and 3/4 cup sugar together until you have pea-sized chunks of topping. Sprinkle on top of muffin. Chill or freeze any leftover topping.

Bake for 15 minutes before reducing the heat to 350. *A hot oven helps your muffins peak instead of spread.
Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Test with a thin-bladed knife or tooth pick for doneness before removing from the oven to cool. 

Remove from tins to cool completely before sealing in an airtight container.


HilarieLewis said...

Delicious, my mouth is full of water to see muffins. You have post proper way to prepare sweet recipe. I will try to prepare my self own it. Thanks for sharing. Pet Urns

betty crocker said...

Thanks, Hilarie :)

Cara said...

I made your chocolate chip/zucchini muffins yesterday. AMAZING. Love your blog!

betty crocker said...

Cara, thanks! :) I always say the great thing about the choc zucchini muffins is how they're so moist, they don't get stale but honestly, they never last long enough here to get that chance anyways!