Gluten free baking can be fraught. You put all your energy and a lot of expensive ingredients into a baked good that can turn out like a lead brick. I just did that with a lemon pound cake. Yeap; it was very bricklike. So I wanted to share a new recipe that I feel is pretty fool proof. Cranberry nut muffins….muffin mania strike again!
I won’t go far from my best recipes to make these treats. This is a riff on a 2015 blueberry muffin post which was my riff on a muffin recipe out of Annalise Roberts’ cookbook; Gluten-Free Baking Classics. Her gf quick breads are delicious and we enjoy them often. I love that they seem foolproof if you follow the basic format carefully. I have made many variations and they all turn out great. So I recommend them to those just learning to bake gluten free. You can do these muffins, I promise, even if you are totally new to baking gluten free.
Never been a big fan of cranberries until last winter when I decided to experiment with them and found that they work very well with a variety of fruits/nuts for muffins, tarts, pies and crisps. The cranberries brighten the flavor and add a lovely rosy color. Do look beyond your prejudices to their sharp flavor and give them a try. I am so glad I did.
These muffins did not disappoint: delicate texture yet slightly crunchy outside with a great cranberry orange flavor and just enough sugar for me. The streusel topping adds a cinnamon flavor and insures that they look straight from the bakery. I made a 3×5 mini loaf as well as muffins and it was delightful sliced thick and served with a cup of tea. I baked it a bit longer; 35-40 minutes should do it.
There are walnuts in there to so you get some really great nutrients from the fruit and nuts. I swap the white sugar I used to use for coconut palm sugar which is very low as far as raising blood sugar. Not much guilt in eating one of these treats! Note: You need a little extra milk if you use the coconut palm sugar; at least two extra tbsp. maybe three.
Cranberry Nut Muffins
2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)
2/3 cup granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. xanthan gum
¼ tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
grated zest of one orange
1 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
½ cup (plus 2 tbsp. milk if you use coconut palm sugar,) 1 or 2 percent
½ cup canola oil
Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, make sure the butter is in tiny pebbles; use your fingertips to blend.
½ cup rolled oats 1½ tbsp. butter
¼ cup brown sugar ¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. almond meal
Directions: Heat your oven to 375 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray. One batch makes 12-16 muffins. I got 16 when I made them yesterday.
Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl Add fruit and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix. Combine milk and oil. Beat in eggs, add vanilla. Add liquids to big bowl; stir just until blended. It is a very thick batter.
Fill muffin pans 2/3 full. I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with the topping. Press it in a bit so it won’t flake off after baking. Bake 21-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry. Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack. Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) or an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days. It is smart to freeze any you won’t eat in two days time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.
Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s basic gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour