So I keep meaning to make cranberry nut bread, but I can’t think of an occasion or a purpose for it. I’m usually not one to bake without a purpose because I live by myself so there is a good chance that I will end up eating it all myself.
Recently though I had an occasion to make muffins so I thought I would turn my need to make cranberry nut bread, into a need to make cranberry nut muffins. I looked around on some of my favorite sites to find recipes, and found the one below on the Food Network website.
I did, however, make one smart swap. The recipe called for sour cream, and to be honest, I’ve never been a fan. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t by it for a specific recipe, but I thought a better alternative would be greek yogurt. So I swapped out the sour cream for greek yogurt and even added a little orange zest for brightness the muffins turned out great!
One of the great things about these muffins is the fabulous streusel topping. It’s like coffee cake meets muffin. You should definitely give these a try the next time you are in need of a breakfast/brunch treat!
Cranberry Nut Crumb Muffins
Yields about 24 muffins, adapted from Food Network
- 8 Tbs unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of one orange
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbs flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pans with liners.
- In one bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a different bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time., then vanilla and orange zest.
- Alternate adding dry mixture and yogurt to the wet mixture. Begin and end with the dry.
- Fold in the dried cranberries, and try not to over mix the batter.
- To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and smush together with hands or pastry cutter to get to a sandy consistency.
- Fill cupcake tins about two thirds full with batter then sprinkle each with the crumb topping.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and tester comes out clean.
These Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are a very distinct food memory for me. I rowed crew in high school which is kind of a niche sport, especially when you’re in high school. It’s a little bit of a hassle because you have to have a body of water, a boathouse, and of course boats. Not the most popular high school sport. Our regatta’s would typically be at the Schuykill or Cooper Rivers (Philly or Camden). They would typically be weekend-long affairs. While some of the weekend was spent actually on the water either warming up for a race or racing, there was always a significant amount of downtime that consisted of watching the other races and basically tailgating along the side of the river.
All of the parents of the kids on the team would pitch in to provide the snacks (lots, and lots of snacks). And my mother would bring these muffins. They always got raves from all of my teammates. I love them too. They seem like such a simple flavor combination: banana and chocolate chips, but some things never get old.
I made them recently for some friends to munch on while we were volunteering for some local community service. A perfect morning treat!
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields almost 24 regular size muffins (definitley 24 if you add walnuts)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs (room temp)
- 2 cups mashed banana (ripe!)
- 2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2T hot water
- 3 cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 and line the muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt), and set aside.
- Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, and add vanilla extract to butter and sugar mixture.
- Add dry ingredients to wet in a batches. Try not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts (if you want).
- Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Fill them each about 2/3rds full. Bake them for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean and top is golden brown.
Since it’s still November, I’m still allowed to make pumpkin things. I recently had an early morning class field trip, so I decided that it would be nice to bring some muffins along. I had a few very ripe bananas, so my initial plan was to find a good banana muffin recipe, but during my search I found something even better: a pumpkin banana muffin recipe. To make the muffins a little more interesting I decided to add some chocolate chips and walnuts. Basically whenever I can add nuts or chocolate, I will.
The muffins turned out fairly dense and quite moist which was great. The original recipe called for whole wheat flour, or at least a combination of white and whole wheat. I typically jump at the chance to use whole wheat flour, but in this instance I had just bought some white flour that I wanted to use up, so I used all white. I love recipes that are adaptable to what you have on hand!
Pumpkin Banana Muffins
Yeilds 24 muffins, adapted from Alida’s Kitchen
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose flour/1 cup whole wheat flour)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1-2 cups chocolate chips (depending on how chocolaty you want it)
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line the muffin tins with liners, or spray with non-stick spray.
- Combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl mix together pumpkin puree, oil, and mashed bananas with an electric mixer. Gradually add eggs and vanilla until mixture is well combined.
- Gradually fold in the dry ingredients to the wet, and finally add walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Bake 13-15 minutes for normal sized muffins (a little shorter if you make minis).