I am the queen of saving so many recipes, and I know with certainty I’ll never be able to try them all. Many of them get pushed aside because they seem out of season, or because I don’t have a good reason to make them, and eventually slip my mind when I’m in the process of meal planning. But some I just need to make right away, as was the case with these muffins. They’re seasonal, I had all the ingredients on hand, and I had to work on a Saturday morning so I knew I would have some hungry coworkers to help taste test them. Not surprisingly, these are a wonderful treat, and perfect for this time of year (you know, eggnog and cranberry time.) I thought the almond flavor, though delicious, slightly overpowered the taste of the eggnog so next time I may reduce that a bit. Otherwise, these were great and received two thumbs up from everyone who tried them.
Yield: about 14-16 muffins
For the muffins:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
¾ cup eggnog
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. almond extract
1½ cups coarsely chopped cranberries
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, slightly softened
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line 14-16 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir to combine. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar, eggs, eggnog, melted butter and almond extract. Stir until well combined. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Toss the chopped cranberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and fold into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin liners, filling them about two thirds of the way full.
To make the streusel topping, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse, crumbly mixture forms. Stir in the pecans if using. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the muffin batter.
Bake for about 18-22 minutes, or a until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.