Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

It’s not even the end of September and I’m already plotting which Halloween decorations will go where. Halloween isn’t even my favorite holiday- it just signifies the beginning of the holiday season, and perhaps more importantly, loads of candy. Since I’m diving right into fall with my decorating, I figured I might as well jump right on the pumpkin recipe bandwagon.

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Since it’s still relatively warm out, I didn’t want to make anything that has to be served hot, so muffins seemed like a good choice. I found this recipe on VeryBestBaking.com. It’s wonderfully simple; I just tweaked it to include vanilla and dried cranberries, as well as a streusel-inspired topping. I love grabbing a soft, crumbly muffin on my way out the door in the morning, or even eating one for dessert with some cool whip. They’re also great for taking in the car if you have to drive somewhere and need an easily accessible, hands free snack (i.e. NOT sushi, which I had to eat while rolling through Times Square while working at New York Fashion Week).

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups  all-purpose flour

2/3 cup  packed brown sugar, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling

1/3 cup  granulated sugar

1 tablespoon  baking powder

1 teaspoon  salt

1 teaspoon  ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon  baking soda

1/4 teaspoon  ground ginger

1/2 cup  butter, melted

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

2 large  eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup  buttermilk

1 cup dried cranberries

1-2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease or paper-line 12 muffin cups.

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Combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and ginger in large bowl. Combine butter, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk in medium bowl. Add to flour mixture, stir just until moistened. Gently fold in cranberries. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, and dot with the cut up butter.

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Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. I always take my muffins/cupcakes out of the oven a minute or two before they’re fully cooked, since they finish baking in the tin.

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Enjoy!

Leslie

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