Saturday, October 11, 2014

Zestful Cranberry Muffins

On the tenth day of October, I shall pause the horror-festing, to bring you my latest recipe. These sweet, tangy, deliciously refreshing muffins will test your resolve when you say you'll only have one. They are still fresh from the oven and, as I type this, the Sidekick is on his third. For the record, his stomach and lack of willpower always amazes me. Not that he needs to worry. The man has a metabolism that would rival that of a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (which reportedly eat 1.5 to 3 times their weight in nectar and insects a day). I am jealous. My metabolism is akin to a blue whale's, as you can tell by these thighs of mine.

As you know, everything I bake is vegan. I am under the impression most any baking can be just as delicious without animal products. It's kind of a life mission for me to prove vegan doesn't mean dry, dense and disgusting. These muffins are moist, fluffy and delectable. Trust me. I have no reason to lie to you. Now, I shall make with the recipe.

Zestful Cranberry Muffins 

Makes 12

Preheat oven 375


2 Cups - Flour
3/4 Cup - Sugar (I used unrefined)
2 Tsp - Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp - Salt
1/2 Cup - Coconut Oil (melted, of course)
1/2 Cup - Orange Juice
1/2 Cup - Coconut Beverage
1 Tsp - Vanilla (or more) 
1/4 Tsp - Almond Extract 
Zest of 1 Clementine 
1 Cup - Cranberries

1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. 

2. In saucepan, heat orange juice and coconut beverage until just a bit warm. This will prevent the coconut oil from hardening when you add the cold liquids to it, which is exactly what I did. It created clumps in my batter. Rookie mistake, right? Well, I learned from it, because I ended up having to heat up my batter to melt the clumps before I could bake the freaking muffins! 

3. Combine liquids to dry ingredients, then add in vanilla, almond extract and zest of the clementine. Mix until smooth. I actually thought I over mixed and the muffins weren't going to turn out, but I was wrong. They are beautiful. 

4. Fold in cranberries - you can chop them, or leave them whole. I did half and half. 

5. Scoop into lightly greased muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. 

Now, be forewarned, the sugar sprinkling kind of backfired for me. I thought the granules would be intact on top and be like pretty gems. This wasn't the case. In fact, they sunk into the batter and crystallized, which kind of make the muffins look a bit odd, like ripply, but turned out to be wondrous on the taste buds. So, do it. 

6. Bake in over for 20-25 minutes, until they are lightly browned on top. Then scoop them out with a spoon and place on a cooling rack. Don't let them cool. Eat them. Eat them all! 

Here are some pictures of these most delicious muffins. 

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