Sunday, December 6, 2009

Streusel-topped Cranberry Muffins

Admit probably have leftover cranberry sauce or relish lurking in your fridge right now. Cranberry sauce is not exactly the condiment of a thousand uses in most kitchens. My son puts it on his turkey sandwiches. But other than that it gets neglected for a while until you notice that it has gotten some strange furry mold on it, and then it gets thrown away. I had some leftover cranberry relish, the kind that is raw cranberries chopped up with a whole orange and some sugar. Delicious with turkey, great on turkey sandwiches, but I had about a cup left. I was brought up believing that it was a sin to waste food, and even if you don't believe that, it is a waste of money. When I woke up this morning I knew I was making these muffins, and the recipe details popped right in my head like a revelation.
My daughter said that they were the BEST muffins EVER.
Do you adapt recipes? I do it all the time. It is just like changing a pattern only you get to eat the results, which most of the time are delicious.
I adapted these from the Walnut-Strawberry Quick Bread recipe in my copy of the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion.You can turn quick bread recipes into muffins easily - just put the batter in muffin tins and shorten the baking time accordingly.

Streusel Topped Cranberry Muffins
first make your streusel topping (see below)
Preheat your oven to 350

Streusel topping- this will make EXTRA - enough for two batches of muffins, or a 9x13 coffee cake. I always have some in my fridge for streusel emergencies.
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but nice)
In a medium sized mixing bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. Melt the butter, (I melt it in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave) and add the extracts to the melted butter and then pour this into the dry stuff and blend with a whisk or fork until it gets blended into crumbs. (Don't eat it all! Save some for your muffins. It's tasty.)

Muffin batter:
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, but chopped almonds or walnuts would work too)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (cinnamon would be nice too)
2 large eggs
1 cup cranberry relish (the kind that is raw cranberries chopped with sugar and an orange)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixing bowl, blend the dry ingredients together, then whisk in the eggs, oil, applesauce, cranberry relish, vanilla etc. If you don't have vanilla, you could use rum instead or just leave it out.

Scoop into muffin tins (I line mine with muffin papers) top with the streusel and bake for about 22 minutes.

Any muffins that don't get eaten will freeze nicely and be great for breakfast later in the week.
These were awesome with our coffee this morning, and equally good later in the afternoon with a glass of cold milk.

Happy Baking!


The Slapdash Sewist said...

I looooove cranberries and always use up the relish. I make the kind that is cooked cranberries and an orange and oj concentrate. If there's any left at the end of my Tofurky (not usually) I use it as jam.

AuntieAllyn said...

Nice idea! However, I NEVER have any leftover cranberry sauce . . . at least, not for very long! I stir it into greek yogurt . . . one of my most favorite holiday treats!! Still, I might try your idea!