Fall Recipe: Cranberry-Pecan Muffins

We don't want to reserve our cranberry consumption solely for the sauce on the turkey. These muffins are a great way of getting in some of the powerhouse fruit all year round ... but if we're being honest, they'll probably mostly be baked in the fall.

Serve these America's Test Kitchen gems in a pre-Thanksgiving brunch to get everyone in the spirit, or, better, yet, elevate your leftovers by using your extra cranberry sauce in the recipe.

To do so, just sub in the sauce for the cranberries, and don't add the sugar in the recipe. (Of course, this only works if you've made a sweet, rather than savory, cranberry sauce.) And enjoy!

Photo courtesy America's Test KitchenCranberry-Pecan Muffins
Makes 12
The topping:
3 tbsps all-purpose flour
4 tsps sugar
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsps butter, softened
pinch of salt
1/2 cup pecan halves

The muffins:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tspn salt
1 1/4 cups pecans, toasted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
6 tbsps of melted butter, cooled
1/2 cup skim milk
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 tbsp confectioners sugar

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Process flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and salt in food processor until mixture resembles coarse sand, 4 to 5 pulses. Add pecans and process until pecans are coarsely chopped, about 4 pulses. Transfer to small bowl; set aside.

Spray 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt together in bowl; set aside.

Process toasted pecans and granulated sugar until mixture resembles coarse sand, 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer to large bowl and whisk in eggs, butter, and milk until combined. Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until just moistened and no streaks of flour remain. Set batter aside 30 minutes to thicken.

Pulse cranberries, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and confectioners' sugar in food processor until very coarsely chopped, 4 to 5 pulses. Using rubber spatula, fold cranberries into batter.

Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups, slightly mounding in middle. Evenly sprinkle topping over muffins, gently pressing into batter to adhere. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 18 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time.

Cool muffins in muffin tin on wire rack, 10 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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