I am not sure what it is about those bright red, hard, shiny balls of raw cranberries in their neat little plastic pouches
that just compels me to throw them in my grocery cart…every….single…time…I am in my local produce aisle?
It is literally mind blowing that, even though there are currently about 15 packages of these tart autumn fruit taking up
prime retail space in my garage freezer, I still get this overwhelming rush of panic from deep within my gut, that screams, “BUY MORE NOW!!”
Of course it is unreasonable, you (& I)know this.
Yet…I justify my temporary insanity, confidently finger pointing the blame on to all the flash images running through the news feed of my brain.
Now that it’s “tis the season” on Instagram & pinterest, the endless recipe possibilities… all have me wading deeper in the bottomless bog that is my living (until right now) secretly…..as a cranberry hoarder.
Thankfully my obsession has an upside.
Cranberry perks if you will, served up daily in forms of scones, muffins, cookies, & the occasional quick chicken dinner.
These tart little fruits add just the right amount of tangy pop to every recipe.
The other day as I unpacked yet another bag of cranberries from my groceries, I was compelled to make his muffin recipe that has been running through my head for the last few days.
Craving the addictive combination of delicious bitter sweet chocolate, cranberries & toasted pecans, the ideas for these muffins were not hard to come up with.
Adding the pungent flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger, to the mix for that earthy autumn taste and I hit muffin recipe gold.
As I was dreaming of this recipe, I remembered one of my favorite recipes I use to make daily at Tastebuds during the fall, our spiced blueberry muffins.
My favorite thing about those outrageously good muffins were their crustyish outer texture they got from adding the brown & white sugar at the end of the recipe.
So with those muffins in mind, I added my sugar at the end.
The result, the perfect combination of tart sweetness & zesty robust flavor with a little melt-in-your-mouth chocolate surprise goodness, in every other bite.
Now that I have revealed my secret cranberry “shame”, I have come to the conclusion that yes, I am slightly crazy…
But if because of my addiction I will have cranberries stock piled till August (way past the time you will even find one trace of those precious red gems in the store).
And the possibility of making these game changing muffins whenever the fancy overcomes me…
I can live with crazy.
Cranberry Chocolate Nut Muffins
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
1 cup bittersweet chopped chocolate chunks
3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir quickly just to combine. Add the cranberries, chocolate, toasted pecans and both sugars and stir just enough to evenly distribute everything throughout the batter.
Spoon the batter into paper muffin liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.