Cranberry Pecan Struessel Muffins

Sunday mornings are the most relaxing for me.  I’ve done my grocery shopping, I may have some laundry to do, but I like knowing I don’t have to be anywhere most Sundays.

Hannah had to work in the early afternoon, so she and I had a diner breakfast at home – bacon, sauteed apples, eggs/egg white scramble and hash browns.  With some fresh coffee, this was a delicious way to start the day.  This plate is 8 points.

Then we ran to Walmart for a couple things and then hit up the gym.  I ended up doing 8.2 miles on the bike, resistance 15 the whole time in 40 minutes.  Hannah snapped this picture of us – it looks like my baseball hat is trying to knock her out!

Tony watched on America’s Test Kitchen yesterday about how to make a great cranberry muffin.  Can I just tell you how excited I am that Tony’s appetite is coming back?  I didn’t even think twice about making these for him.

And as always, America’s Test Kitchen never fails.  These were amazing!  The batter was light and tender, you got a nice sweet and sour kick from the fresh cranberries – totally worth the points!  Obviously I wouldn’t make these every week, but if you have to bring something to a brunch, bring these muffins.

Cranberry Pecan Muffins with Streusel (makes 12 – 9 WW points each)

Ingredients for the struesel topping:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves

For the muffins:

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons of melted butter, cooled
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar.
Instructions
  • 1. FOR THE STREUSEL: 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.
  • 2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Spray 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray with flour. Whisk flour, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt together in bowl; set aside.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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 streusel 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.

Tony said that he could eat the streusel all by itself!

Um, turns out pecans are expensive.  I lucked out on the sale rack at Wal-mart – these must have been leftover from Christmas?  I don’t know, but I only paid $1.99 for this can vs. $6 for an equal amount of bagged pecans.

The idea of porcessing the berries with powdered sugar is to sweeten them, and the dash of salt masks the bitterness:

I actually thought of adding lemon zest to this step, but followed the directions as is – next time I will though.

The topping was so crunchy and delicious:

The cranberries got evenly distributed – the muffn is so light and tender.  My mouth is literally watering as I type this!

These will be easy for Tony to have with his morning coffee. :D  Um, let’s just say one of these muffins was my lunch!

Dinner was simple and delicous.  I roasted a chicken in a little butter, rosemary, lemon and salt.  Made baked potatoes on the side.  I plan on making chicken and biscuits later in the week with the leftovers, then making chicken noodle soup with the rest.

Our temps this week will be in the mid-40′s so I’ll be getting some lunch time runs/walks in too. :D

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?