Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Walnut Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

 There is just something about fall that makes we want to be in the kitchen and bake away, even though it's still hot outside.  I think, maybe, if I keep baking it will tell the weather out there to just "cool it"!  But anyway, for brunch last Sunday, I used Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix as a base and gave it a holiday twist by adding walnuts and orange cranberries and served it with orange butter.  Yup, that's right, orange butter!  This holiday muffin is sweet, citrusy and has a slight crunch. 

What you'll need:
For the Muffins: Makes about 16
1 pkg of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix
1/2 cup of apple sauce instead of oil (healthier but still keeps the muffins moist)
1/2 cup of Trader Joe's dried orange cranberries
1/2 cup of roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup of water
2 large eggs
Festive Muffin Paper Cups

For the Orange Butter:
2 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of orange zest

**Before you begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F**
Step 1:
Always crack open your eggs in a separate bowl before putting them into the mix.  You never know when you'll find a Veruca (a bad egg)! 

Step 2:
In a medium size bowl, combine the pumpkin mix, water, apple sauce and eggs until smooth.

Step 3:
Toss in the walnuts and cranberries and mix until evenly incorporated.

Step 4:
An ice cream scooper is a perfect tool to evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tins lined with paper cups. 

Step 5:
Pop them into the oven for about 18-20 mins.  With your adorable cake tester, poke the muffins and make sure it comes out clean.  If not, cook the muffins for another couple of minutes.

Step 6:
While the muffins slightly cool, zest an orange and mix it together with the butter.  Spread this over your warm muffins and enjoy!

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