Tis The Season

OMG!  Where has the time gone.  It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about going on a cruise.  The cruise was awesome!  Eric and I meet up with our long time friends in New York City and enjoyed the sites for 4 wonderful days before setting sail.  Never having been in New York, I had to do the tourist things like going to the top of the Empire State Building,  the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and maneuvering the subway system.  I was quite impressed with the subway.  It really is an awesome way to travel.

The people of New York get a bad wrap.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but I had heard some stories about how unfriendly New Yorkers are.  Well I for one give them a round of applause.  They were helpful, kind and eager to help.  I could go on and on about my trip and will make a point of sharing my experience at the Chef’s Table but I would like to save that for another time.

Thanksgiving has past and Christmas is fast upon us.  When the granddaughters were here over the Thanksgiving Holiday it was all about the holiday to come.  We made ornaments, an Advent Calendar, decorated a tree and went to the North Pole.  Those 2 can really sap ones energy!  But what a wonderful time together.

They went home on Sunday after church and I spent Monday recovering.  What better way to recover than to bake.  I found a wonderful new cookbook the other day at Costco.  I have tried several recipes from the book like Light and Fluffy Biscuits and Skillet Cornbread.  What has that to do with the season?  Not much other than some great cooking in the near future.


I really like the book for many reasons.  One the recipes have been tried and tested in America’s Test Kitchen.  Second, not only does  it give measurements using their flour blend but it also provides measurements and expected results using King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Multi Purpose Flour Blend.  Third, it goes into why this recipe works.  If you would like to read all about it the book can be purchased from Costco for $16.99 or on-line at Amazon and America’s Test Kitchen.  For now I’ll just share the recipe for the muffins.

This is the perfect time of the year for enjoying cranberry muffins with a hint or orange zest.

Cranberry Orange Pecan Muffins

  • 8 ounces (2 cups) cranberries
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 T. grated orange zest
  • 11 ounces (2 cups) King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour Blend
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup Greek Nonfat plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  •  King Arthur Flour Sparkling Sugar

Add the cranberries to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.  Add the sugar, pecans and orange zest to the food processor bowl and pulse to a coarse sand texture.  Add in the flour blend, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum.  Pulse until well combined, 5 to 10 pulses.

In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, yogurt and eggs together until well combined.  Add to food processor and process until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.  Transfer mixture to the now empty bowl and fold in chopped cranberries.  Please note, the batter will be thick and stiff.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Position oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°.  Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with a gluten free non-stick cooking spray.  Using a large scoop, divide the batter into 12 equal portions in the muffin tin.  Sprinkle lightly with Sparkling Sugar.  Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.  Rotate tins and continue to bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until muffins are firm to the touch and lightly browned.

Remove from oven and allow muffins to rest in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove muffins from tins and allow to cool completely on wire rack.  Muffins can be wrapped in plastic wrap, bagged in a ziplock bag and frozen for later use.  To serve, remove plastic wrap and microwave muffin for 20 to 30 seconds and then warm in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.


 Now that’s a muffin!  Some of my changes included using walnuts in lieu of pecans and sparking sugar for the turbinado sugar called for in the recipe.  I also increased the amount of orange zest called for.  Enjoy!




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