Now, just simmer down. Before anyone gets up in arms about how their resolution this year is to eat healthier or cut out carbs or any of that other typical January hoopla, let me state that I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light. It’s not dripping in butter. Yes, there are carbs. But there are cranberries – those delicious red jewels of winter, too. And these muffins offer versatility. For example, grab one for breakfast with an apple and a non-fat yogurt. Already that’s much healthier than grabbing that bagel from the shop down the street (a vice of mine). They are also tasty as an afternoon or evening snack, and might even work as dessert.
If you really wanted to kick those new year’s resolutions off to a strong start, you could even sub half of the regular all purpose flour for whole wheat flour. Just remember to adjust the liquids accordingly. Whatever incarnation you make these in, you won’t be disappointed. The effort is minimal (25 minutes total time, with 7 of that being work time) and the results are beautiful and delicious.
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Muffins, adapted from Cooking Light, December 2000
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 to 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2/3 cup 1% reduced-fat milk, plus a splash or two extra if necessary
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange rind, or orange peel
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup mini bitter sweet chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, stirring together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips. Then combine the milk, butter, rind, v
anilla, and egg. Add to the flour-cranberry mixture and stir until the dough is moist. Line 12-18 muffin tins (or coat with cooking spray). Carefully spoon the batter into the tins. Place in the oven and bake for about 18 minutes, until the tops are slightly golden and spring back to the touch. Allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack. Eat within 2-3 days. Or, individually wrap each muffin, place inside a freezer storage bag and freeze. Allow the muffin to thaw completely before enjoying.
Enjoy these muffins with a cup of coffee in the morning. Or with a touch of butter and jam for extra sweetness.