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November 20, 2012

Pat's Kitchen: Fresh muffins this holiday weekend

Hot muffins right out of your own oven to make breakfast a bit special for your guests or family, or perhaps as a surprise for your friends at work with their coffee break.

The hardest decision is deciding which kind to make; fruit-filled, such as this recipe, blueberry, oat-streusel, carrot-walnut, and so many more variations; old favorites like corn, and raisin bran, and new fave’s such as macadamia white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. The possibilities are endless.

One of the biggest advantages to making your own muffins is that yours will have much, much less sugar compared to ones you buy pre-made, and you have some control in lowering the fat content by using low-fat milk, egg substitutes, etc..

Muffins, as well as scones, are traditionally not too sweet by using less processed sugar.

Tips When Baking Muffins:

To prevent tunnels and peaks in muffins, stir the wet into the dry ingredients just until blended. Lumpy muffin batter is ok.

If you want a more nutritious muffin, substitute white whole wheat flour for half of the all purpose flour.

For less mess, use a spring-action ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups.

You can make jumbo-sized muffins in 6-ounce custard cups, but remember to increase the baking time.

Arrange oven racks so that muffins bake in the center of the oven.

Check for doneness 5-7 minutes before end of baking time to avoid over baking, as ovens can differ slightly in temp.

Cranberry Almond Muffins

Ingredients:

1 and one-half cups all-purpose flour

one-half cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

one-quarter teaspoon baking soda

one-quarter teaspoon salt

2 eggs

one-half cup sour cream

one-quarter cup butter, melted

one-quarter teaspoon almond extract

three-quarter cup sliced almonds, divided

one-half cup whole-berry cranberry sauce

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