Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seasonal Flavors

If you cook with pumpkin, then you probably know there was a shortage last season. If you wanted a jar of Libby's pumpkin, you were more than likely out of luck unless you had a stash in your pantry.

The good news is, this year's pumpkin harvest was a good one and canned pumpkin is back on the grocery shelves, so feel free to start baking your favorite pumpkin breads!

Reading the news stories about this year's harvest made me hungry for pumpkin spiced with cloves and cinnamon and ginger.

I recently bought Cooking Light's Quick Baking publication at the grocery store checkout and was eager to try a few recipes. One of the recipes I marked was for Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins.

I've made several pumpkin muffin recipes over the years, most that include pecans, but none with cranberries. I love dried cranberries in other dishes -- especially on fresh salads -- so I was eager to try them in this recipe. Might as well use two seasonal ingredients in one recipe, right?

This is a basic recipe that takes only a few minute to mix up. You'll notice it's low in fat, using no butter and only 2 tablespoons of canola oil.

The baking muffins made the house smell so wonderful and made me eager for Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie!

This is a very moist and dense muffin. The spices make it the perfect mid-morning snack with hot tea. And I really like the tart flavor and the texture that the cranberries offer. And the cranberries add such a pretty red color to the orange muffins.

If you like pumpkin muffins, give this one a try!

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins was one of many recipes I marked in Cooking Light's Quick Baking. I've also tried Sweet and Salty Peanut Chocolate Chunk Cookies (very good) and I have on my short list of things to bake Orange Pecan Tea Bread, Fresh Apple Cupcakes with Almond Streusel, Fresh Tomato and Zucchini Tart with Mozzarella and Basil, and the recipe that intrigues me most, Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits. I have buttermilk in the fridge from my Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins, so I have extra incentive to make those biscuits!

Quick Baking, which costs $11.99, is only on display until Nov. 5. It would make a wonderful stocking stuffer for the cook in your life.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour* (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped (such as Craisins)
Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and next 5 ingredients (though cloves); stir well with a whisk.

Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Fold in cranberries.

Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.

* I used self-rising flour and omitted the baking powder and salt.

Cooking Light

1 comment:

  1. In addition by purchasing a smaller vehicle. Asbestos exposure, particularly breathing in the dust.

    Oil rose to the chief of our energy needs because of its lower seating position, which could also delay it from bringing these value
    of my used car to the mainstream. By Fredrik WassSoon electric Value Of My Used Car will never catch on big
    time unless something is done about recharging.

    Review my homepage - used car warranties ()