Mmmmuffins. Cranberry and Walnut.
It was the text no self respecting food blogger mother ever wanted to receive.Ummm…what?! Here I am at home ready at your beck and call (or text!) and you want MUFFINS FROM COSTCO!!!? I just can’t even. Ugh. Teenagers!
Well I showed HIM that I could make muffins. I made two kinds: mac n cheese and weiner muffins for an after school snack with his friends and some amazing cranberry and walnut muffins for his breakfast.
I’ve sort of been on a flour buying binge lately. In the last two weeks I’ve bought chestnut flour (which I used for my Sweet 16 Pizza dough), buckwheat flour (which I plan on making crepes with, YUM!), a lovely cake and pastry blend sold at Duchess Bake Shop, and a soft white wheat flour from Gold Forest Grains Inc. I’m particularly excited about the last flour as it is from a small family farm which produces and mills organic heritage and ancient grains. They sell their products online and at the Old Strathcona Market in Edmonton.
For this recipe I decided that I would replace some of the unbleached white flour with chestnut flour. I’ve come to appreciate the bit of nutty flavour and interesting texture this flour can give and I knew it would be great in these muffins. I want to make myself perfectly clear that these are not your ordinary muffins. You can’t just throw the ingredients into a bowl, stir until moist, then bake them up. Nope. These are, shall we say, ‘Advanced Muffins’ and I only warn you about the recipe now because I found out they were a pain in the ass about halfway through making them. No, I do not read the recipe through and then proceed with the baking. I just bake and sometimes it’s a problem. That said, these are just amazing tasting muffins with great texture which stayed soft and moist even the following day for breakfast.
Cranberry Walnut Muffins (from America’s Test Kitchen)
STREUSEL TOPPING (you could probably cut this part in half as I had a lot left over after I topped the muffins as much as I could)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, softened
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts
Process flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and salt in food processor until mixture resembles coarse sand, 4 to 5 pulses. Add walnuts and process until pecans are coarsely chopped, about 4 pulses. Transfer to small bowl; set aside.
- 1 cup (6 2/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup chestnut flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted and cooled
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (7 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray with flour (or use muffin cups). Whisk flours, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt together in bowl; set aside.
- Process toasted walnuts and granulated sugar until mixture resembles coarse sand, 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer to large bowl and whisk in eggs, butter, and milk until combined. Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until just moistened and no streaks of flour remain. Set batter aside 30 minutes to thicken.
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Pulse cranberries, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and confectioners’ sugar in food processor until very coarsely chopped, 4 to 5 pulses. Using rubber spatula, fold cranberries into batter.
Using rubber spatula, fold cranberries into batter. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups, slightly mounding in middle. Evenly sprinkle streusel topping over muffins, gently pressing into batter to adhere. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 18 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin on wire rack, 10 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.