I love cranberry muffins.  But the one thing that I noticed when making cranberry muffins is the the cranberries were too big.  They would sink to the bottom of the muffin or you would encounter a huge cranberry blast in one bite and nothing in the next.  Often the muffin was over whelming.  Too much or too little.  I am a fan of Cooks Illustrated and saw they tested Cranberry Muffins.  I jumped right on it and made a batch with Walnuts instead of Pecans because I did not have any Pecans.  Ohhh.. My.

These muffins are out of this world.  At Cal-Wood the staff calls them the “in your face cranberry muffin.”  I call it the CRAM-berry Muffin.  You have to try this recipe.

You pulse the berries in a food processor so that the cranberry flavor is distributed evenly.  Great tip.  I will be trying this with Pecans next and will post an update on how that version worked out.

Cranberry Nut Muffins

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

  • 3 tablespoons AP 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 pecan halves or walnuts

Muffins

  • 1 1/3cups (6 2/3 ounces) AP flour
  • 1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4cups pecan halves or 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
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Process flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and salt in food processor until mixture resembles coarse sand, 4 to 5 pulses. Add pecans and process until pecans are coarsely chopped, about 4 pulses. Transfer to small bowl; set aside. 

Spray 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray with flour. Whisk flour, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt together in bowl; set aside.

Process toasted pecans 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.

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. 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.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated