Showing posts with label dried cranberries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dried cranberries. Show all posts

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry Muffins #MuffinMonday

Dried cranberries glow like rubies in these beautiful muffins.  Perfect for breakfast or snack time. 

You all are probably laughing at my photo.  Go ahead.  I know it’s ridiculous.  As much as I try to pretty things up with plates and napkins and other props, the bottom line here is that life comes before blog.  What you see there is me on my way out the door to go sailing with friends in Abu Dhabi.  Which is an hour and a half from home.  I baked the muffins and stuffed them warm in a bag to go.  The car was all packed and even the hound was already fully ensconced behind the front seat when I realized that I hadn’t taken a photo of the finished muffins.  So that’s my hand and behind it, my front yard.  And speaking of life, have I told you we bought a small sailboat?  Yep, it’s a Drascombe Longboat and it lives in Abu Dhabi.

Her name is Jade, despite being blue. 

When we aren’t sailing, there is always piddling about to do: cleaning, repairing and general maintenance.  We ended up not sailing on Saturday since weather was poor, but new ropes have been spliced to tie down the boat cover.  It’s a man thing that involves technical knots and fire apparently.

Hard at work, splicing ropes.  Women knit, I was told.  Men splice rope.  Right.
Not to perpetuate stereotypes but I was happy in the kitchen, preparing lunch.   

Anyhoo, the muffins are tasty and perfect for this season of cranberries and holidays.  Make some for Thanksgiving or to bring to a neighbor.

2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 generous cup or about 135g dried cranberries (Mine are sweetened.)

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Generously grease cups 12-cup muffin pan or line with muffin liners.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, canola, vanilla and eggs.

Add all the milk/egg mixture to flour mixture.

Gently fold just until dry ingredients are moistened.   Set a handful of the cranberries aside and then fold the rest of them in.

Divide your batter relatively evenly between the 12 muffin cups.

Top with the reserved cranberries.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing muffins from tin.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Cranberry Clementine Muffins #MuffinMonday

Is there anyone who isn’t a fan of Nigella Lawson?  Okay, don’t answer that because I don’t really want to know.  This season of US election vitriol has left me weary of dissension and backbiting and intolerance.   Plus I adore Nigella so I would have to leap to her defense and, frankly, I have been traveling and staying up late nattering with good friends, eating good food and drinking good wine, and I just don’t have the energy for jumping about defensively.  Anyway, the point is she has some wonderful recipes and even if you don’t like her seductive manner or are jealous of her ample cleavage, you have to agree about that.  One of my very favorites is a clementine cake (originally from her How to Eat) which calls for boiling the whole fruit and then pureeing it.  When I got the recipe for this week’s Muffin Monday, I was mulling the options for a dried cranberry muffin and the friend I am staying with this week said, “Why don’t you add orange zest?  Orange and cranberry go so well together.”  And Nigella’s clementine cake recipe jumped into my mind and I responded, “You are so right, but I think I’ll go one better than zest.  I’ll add whole clementines!  (We happened to have some handy.)  And so I did and, if you are a fan of orange marmalade, you will like these muffins.  They are not very sweet so they are definitely a breakfast type muffin rather than dessert.  The original recipe is from

4 oz or 100g whole clementines (I used four of those little babies.)
1 cup or 140g dried cranberries
2 cups or 300g self-raising flour
3/4 cup or 155g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml vegetable oil
1 egg

Pop your whole clementines into a small pot and cover with water.  Bring to the boil and then simmer, covered, for an hour.  Check occasionally and add more water to cover if needed.

Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C.  Line your 12-cup muffin pan with paper cases or grease it well.

Combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Whisk milk, oil and egg together in another bowl.

When the clementines are done, drain off the water and cut them open to remove the seeds.  Puree them in a food processor and allow to cool.

Add the cooled clementines to the liquid ingredients and whisk again.

Add liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Gently fold in the cranberries.

Divide your batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool.  These are best served warm.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

These White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies are lovely, chewy and rich baked with ground almonds and white chocolate, and then studded with tart dried cranberries.

When I lived in Kuala Lumpur many years ago, my friends and I played Pokeno once a month, taking turns hosting the evening. The host was in charge of the main course, and everyone else brought a side dish or salad or dessert. This is the note I wrote not long after one month that I hosted.

A open letter to my Pokeno ladies:

Dear Friends,
One of you brought a lovely salad to my house which contained dried cranberries. It was delicious! Along with the memories, you also left behind the unused portion of your bag of cranberries. It has been sitting on my countertop, mocking me daily, ever since. Please identify yourself immediately and you will get it returned in the form of these blondies. Just hot out of the oven.


1 3/4 cup or 395g sugar
4 eggs
145g or 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted butter (This will be just shy of 3/4 cup, if you find that an easier measurement.)
30g or 1/3 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
65g or 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup good quality white chocolate chips

Combine sugar and eggs, mixing well. They should get pale yellow and a little fluffy.

Add in the ground almonds and then the melted, room temperature butter.

Mix in remaining ingredients, minus 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. 

Bake at 350°F or 180°C for 30-40 minutes in greased 9in x 9in pan (or until toothpick comes out clean.) 

Watch for early browning, cover lightly with foil or turn temperature down if necessary. Do not overbake!  These will be moist and delicious if they are removed from the oven slightly underdone.

Melt the reserved chocolate chips in the microwave (you may have to add a little butter if they are too dry) and spread on top of the blondies.  Cut into squares and serve.