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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lemon Cranberry Walnut Muffins

I got lemons from a colleague last week and wanted to put them to good use while they were still juicy. I also wanted to bake something slightly-sweet to have as dessert. I looked around for recipes of muffins that used lemons and found that lemon-poppy was the most common combination. I don't care much for poppy seeds, so I thought I could improvise my mixed berry recipe from last week as the base and replace the berries with lemon and something else. Cranberries and chopped walnuts sounded good.

I had buttermilk at hand from the soda bread and buttermilk biscuits. I thought it would complement the lemons well. This is what I came up with:

My Mixed Berry recipeLemon-Cranberry-Walnut recipe
1 C frozen blueberries
½ C frozen raspberries, cut in half
1.5 oz dried sweetened cranberries, finely chopped
2 oz chopped walnuts
1 t lemon zest (up to 1 T can be used)
2 T lemon juice
2 C whole wheat pastry flour
2 T wheat germ
1 T cracked flaxseeds
2 C whole wheat pastry flour
3 T sugar
3 T turbinado sugar
2 T agave nectar

4 T turbinado sugar
3 T agave nectar
1 T baking powder1 T baking powder
¾ t salt¾ t salt
2 large eggs2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract½ t vanilla extract (I ran out of extract)
¾ C 2% milk
½ C unsweetened applesauce
¾ C low fat buttermilk (milk is better)
½ C unsweetened applesauce
3 T butter, melted
3 T vegetable oil
3 T butter, melted
3 T vegetable oil
C = cup
T = tablespoon
 t = teaspoon

Method is the usual:
Sift dry ingredients together
Mix wet ingredients together well (in the order butter, oil, sweetener, eggs, vanilla extract, applesauce, buttermilk)
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
Gently stir in cranberries and walnuts. Do not overmix.
Bake 20-22 mins in a 400° F oven.

The batter was easy to put together and it bubbled up more than expected. I need to study more about combining buttermilk and baking powder. Fortunately it was able to go in the oven right away. I didn't fill the muffin pans fully, expecting some rising, so I had some left over batter. But the muffins didn't rise a lot.

The muffins tasted good. The cranberries won the flavor war over the lemons. A little more lemon zest would have been better. The walnuts added a nice bite to the texture. These were not very sweet or melt-in-your-mouth muffins, but they were good for satisfying my sweet tooth.


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