harvest muffins make a come back

It was just over a week ago that the request for these muffins came to me. I made them once last year for a meeting and they were a huge hit. No surprise because they are filled with nuts, dried fruit and ‘fall-y’ spices. I have made them less sinful than the original recipe, but they will never and should never be a 2 point muffin – unless you make them mini then you could drop the stats. The changes I have made make them super moist as well so live it up and enjoy the tastes of fall.

Harvest Muffins

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package (4oz) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried figs, chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Line muffin tin with papers and spray papers with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl sift (or just stir with a whisk if you don’t have a sifter) dry ingredients together – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients egg, milk, sour cream, butter, applesauce, pumpkin; mixing slowly until just combined. Next, add in the sugar, making sure it is evenly dispersed. At this point I switch to a silicon spatula¬†and fold in the fruit and nuts.

Scoop muffin batter in to prepared pans – each muffin paper should be 2/3 full. Bake the muffins for 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through cooking time. When they come out of the oven let them rest in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack (mine is still packed so I just put them on a brown paper bag to cool) until completely cooled. I keep them frozen and pop them in Carver’s lunch each day; by the time he is ready for a snack it has defrosted.

For 18 large muffins it is 6 Points Plus per muffin. If you were to make mini muffins you would get 40 muffins at 3 Points Plus per muffin.

I might add – they are delicious warmed with a light slathering of whipped cream cheese.

love at first bite

Years ago I started watching Barefoot Contessa religiously. It took a few months for her to really grow on me. But then I realized her recipes were well-written and her flavors impeccable. What I really loved was how much love she put in to everything. I love to watch her with her friends and with her husband. It was so refreshing to see those interactions, and you get the sense that she is that way on and off camera which is nice. Anyways when I met Carver I was deep in the Barefoot Contessa world and saw that when she and her husband were dating she would send him treats (brownies). Well that, I thought, was genius! So I started sending Carver treats. His favorite by far were my cranberry orange muffins. I’m not certain why those were the ones that won him over considering I sent homemade truffles with that shipment but those were his favorite. I think these really went a long way in getting him on board for the whole marriage thing – so thanks, Ina!

I made these muffins recently and was reminded again how delicious these are.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, light
  • 12 ounces frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tin with papers and spray with nonstick spray; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. In a small bowl combine wet ingredients until just mixed. Add wet ingredients into dry and stir just until incorporated. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pan halfway through cook time. Let muffins cool 5 minutes in pan before removing to rack to cool completely. This recipe yields 24 muffins, and each muffin in 5 points plus.