Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Better Breakfast: Zucchini Cranberry Orange Muffins

I love making a "real" breakfast for the family, especially on the weekend but tire of the usual pancakes & eggs, so I'm always on the hunt for something new & different.  I used to make Orange Cranberry muffins at a job I held many moons & years ago, and ever since then have had the occasional craving for one but haven't found a good enough recipe to satisfy such craving.

This morning, I decided to combine the best of 3 different recipes that I have, and this what I came up with.

Crunchy topping...sweet & tart tasting...moist & crumbly...these are amazing!!!!

Zucchini Cranberry Orange Muffins

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1/8 tsp walnut extract
1 Tbsp chopped pecans
6 Tbsp flour
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup frozen cranberries
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Add 12 muffin cup liners to muffin pan or prepare muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray in lieu of muffin cups.

First create crumb topping by mixing together brown sugar, 2 Tbsp butter, walnut extract, 1 Tbsp chopped pecans, and 6 Tbsp flour in a small bowl until pea-sized crumbs form.  Set aside.

Beat 1 cup sugar with 4 Tbsp butter in large bowl until well-combined.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract.  In a medium bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Blend flour mixture into sugar mixture until just moist, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Fold in zucchini, frozen cranberries, orange zest and pecans.  Spoon into muffin pan until each cup is nearly full.  Top with crumb topping, gently pressing topping down into muffin batter with your hand to keep the topping from falling off during baking.

Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes.


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