Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cranberry Pomegranate Breakfast Muffins

When I pick a recipe out to cook, it's not because it's hard or that I'm necessarily intimidated to cook it.  Sometimes I see a recipe and my mouth begins to water, I save it, and then forget to ever cook it.  I was sitting around tonight and falling asleep on the couch, but at 7p to be yawning that much, if I had given in to slumber, I'd be up at 2a and tossing and turning for the rest of the night.  Instead of giving into sleep, I decided to whip up a recipe I had just spotted for cranberry struesel muffins.

I don't have any fresh cranberries around the house at the moment, but I do have several jars of cranberry and pomegranate sauce that didn't quite set up into a jelled cranberry sauce.  I didn't want to throw this batch out, so I canned it and put it on the shelf, waiting for an excuse to use it.  The jar came off the shelf and I cooked the sauce down to thicken it.

I found this recipe online and decided to use it as the base.  The batter felt a bit loose to me, however, the proof will be when it comes out of the oven.

I folded the cooked down jar into this recipe I found online.  The batter felt a bit loose to me, however, the proof will be when the muffins come out of the oven and I can taste test the results.

The cranberry pomegranate cooked down mix is folded into the batter.


The struesel mix is quick and simple to make, but my feeling is that it's a bit heavy on the butter.  I'd be tempted to cut this down to a single stick (the recipe calls for 1.25 sticks) or 3/4 of a stick.  I'd also be tempted to increase the oats to 1 cup, but this is more of an impression versus post taste test.

The mix with my 16 ounce jar of cranberries that were cooked down came out to 24 average size muffins, or probably 18 fuller cup muffins.  I went a little conservative because they're going to rise to some degree, and I didn't want the struesel to fall all over the top of the pan instead of staying on the muffin.

And here's the final product!  I handed Fred a hot one right out of the oven with a pot holder underneath so he wouldn't burn himself.  It's rather comical watching him trying to pick at something steaming hot!   :)   Fred has described my version as kind of sweet on the top, sour on the bottom, and said the cranberries were "attention getting".  Good!  That's the way a cranberry muffin should be, and considering this was a mix, it's not bad at all.  

My impression of the muffin:

  1. It needs to cook closer to the 25 minute mark.  In my case, mine were still a little too moist out of the oven.  Granted, I didn't measure the cranberry and pomegranate mixture, so I might've gone over the 2 cup mark, but I tend to think not since a pint is 16 ounces.  I could also argue that 2 cups of dry and 2 cups of wet (even though it got reduced about 50%) are measured differently.  I'm not going to split hairs on a breakfast muffin I was simply goofing around with.
  2. Assuming you can wait, they're much better when they're cooled off a bit.  My first bite, still steaming hot, was very moist, bordering on wet.  The last bite was much drier and had a better muffin consistency.  They rarely get to cool off around here as Fred often attacks the batter bowl, and I had to stop him from attacking the struesel mixture.  LOL
  3. It definitely needs more oats on top as it wasn't crunchy.  In order to get the crunch, you'd be better off with either nuts in the topping, or a straight nut only topping.
  4. I'd also use dark brown sugar for the struesel, but the recipe doesn't specify light or dark.  I used light brown sugar, and the top although tasty, just lacks depth. 
  5. I would take the struesel butter mix down to about 3/4 of the recommended amount.

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