RECIPE Craisin Pumpkin Walnut Muffins by Bakery Boy

How did I not know about Craisins until recently? Now I can’t get enough of them in breads, on salads, with cereal or yogurt, and especially in muffins.

story/recipe/photos by Bakery Boy

Craisin Pumpkin Walnut Muffins. Photos by Bakery Boy

Somehow I was unaware of Craisins until recently. They just weren’t on my radar. Are you familiar with them? Ocean Spray owns the name Craisins (the generic term is dried cranberries). By either name they’re closely akin to raisins—like big, moist, sweet raisins with a pleasantly chewy texture and a gets-noticed deep red hue.

When my local supermarket put them on an end-aisle sale at a reduced price, I picked some up to see what they were all about. After snacking on a few straight from the bag, my first inclination was to bake them into a loaf of bread in lieu of raisins, which turned out just fine. I tossed them in a green salad along with some mandarin orange slices and slivered almonds for a nice effect. I sprinkled them, plus crumbled pecans, on some whole grain breakfast cereal. I stirred them into yogurt.

Craisin Pumpkin Walnut Muffin

By far though, my favorite use for Craisins is in muffins. I experimented with several combinations of ingredients before pairing them with walnuts and pumpkin, and I like the results. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. If you have other suggested uses for my new favorite dried fruit, please share—I can’t seem to get enough of them.

CRAISIN PUMPKIN WALNUT MUFFINS

NOTE: This recipe uses a whole 15-ounce can of pumpkin to make 24 muffins. If that’s too many, you could cut all the amounts in half (see the halved recipe at the end of this post) to make a single dozen, and then refrigerate half of the pumpkin to use in a second batch later. I prefer to make the bigger batch and give some to my next-door neighbor, who by the way wholeheartedly endorses the idea!

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ cups sugar

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 cup Craisins

1 cup walnut pieces

In a large bowl combine first 9 ingredients (flour through salt). In a smaller bowl combine eggs, pumpkin, oil. Stir wet ingredients into dry until thoroughly moistened. Fold in Craisins and walnut pieces. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling them ¾ths full. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Move to cooling rack.

Walnut Pieces

TIP: Save back a few of the most nicely formed Craisins and walnuts to place on top of the muffins just before they go into the oven. Lightly press them partially into the batter. They’ll show up much better than those that are stirred into the batter, making for a nicer presentation.

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CRAISIN PUMPKIN WALNUT MUFFINS (half recipe)

Here’s the same recipe cut in half, in case 24 muffins seems like too many at once.

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ of a 15-ounce can of pumpkin (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup Craisins

½ cup walnut pieces

In a large bowl combine first 9 ingredients (flour through salt). In a smaller bowl combine eggs, pumpkin, oil. Stir wet ingredients into dry until thoroughly moistened. Fold in Craisins and walnut pieces. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling them ¾ths full. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Move to cooling rack.

Dried Cranberries

TIP: Save back a few of the most nicely formed Craisins and walnuts to place on top of the muffins just before they go into the oven. Lightly press them partially into the batter. They’ll show up much better than those that are stirred into the batter, making for a nicer presentation.

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3 responses to “RECIPE Craisin Pumpkin Walnut Muffins by Bakery Boy

  1. I’m going to try your pumpkin muffin recipe this week. Looks yummy. Here’s another suggestion. If you haven’t ever tried them, try dried cherries. (Great price on them at Aldi.) Great on a salad with pecans and goat or blue cheese with balsamic vinegar, or my new favorite use is in white chocolate cherry oatmeal cookies. I made a big batch this week and I refuse to tell you how many I’ve eaten each day! They are also good in a stuffing for pork and I’m sure they be good in some of your yummy bread. Hope you have a great day.

  2. Mmm, White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies… you’re talking my language! Thanks, Joy.

  3. I realized while I was scooping these into the pan that there was no sugar or butter! But they’re delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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