Wednesday, March 24, 2010

All I've been eating for the past two weeks....

Hello, muffin.

It's been quite nice spending two weeks with you and all of your friends.

I'm glad I learned your almond butter secrets; you taste pretty good.

It is time, however, for you to find some new homes.

Anyone want one?
Or twelve?

Better Than The Bakery Cranberry-Nut Muffins

3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon non-iodized table salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at slightly-cooler-than room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons creamy almond butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
2½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped in half (if using frozen, do not thaw)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Spray the top of the pan as well as the inside of the cups.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed of an electric mixer until lightened in color and well mixed, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and add the almond butter. Return the mixer to medium speed and cream until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed until smooth, about 45 seconds.

Gently fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk, until the flour just barely disappears. Fold in another 1/3 flour and then 1/3 buttermilk, and repeat once more, again, just until you can no longer see the flour. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the cranberries and walnuts just until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup so that it mounds slightly over the top of the cup. The batter should fill 12-18 muffin cups, depending on the size of the cup.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the tops are mounded, smooth and deeply golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

Remove pan to a cooling rack. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 15 minutes to set, and gently remove to a cooling rack for another 3-5 minutes. Eat while still warm.

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