Adding the leftovers to muffins is an excellent solution. As long as there’s room in the freezer. Which is so often not the case. (Especially since someone keeps making bread and someone else is experimenting with his new ice cream maker….)
But by a miracle, today we had some freezer room (those wonderful Puy lentils made with frozen chicken stock), so I announced I’d make muffins. After consultation, we decided I’d make cranberry cornmeal muffins.
I took cranberries out of the freezer (aha!!! even more freezer room) and dredged them in the sugar called for in the recipe, using a little extra sugar because T likes his cornmeal muffins to be on the sweet side. And thought I’d add a few of the overly sweet dried cranberries we have too many of as well. To get rid of them. To make more room.¹.
Everything was going swimmingly:
- I remembered to preheat the oven.
- I remembered to put the muffins on the top shelf of the oven so they wouldn’t burn on the bottom.
- I remembered to set the timer AND pay attention when it rang.
After I put the muffins in the oven and was washing the muffin dishes, T came down to make ice cream and part of tonight’s dinner (vegetarian shepherd’s pie).
And here’s how the conversation went when the bell rang and the muffins weren’t done yet… not done by a long shot… not even close… white as snow on top….
me: HEY!! Who turned the oven down to 275F?!
he: I didn’t touch it.
me: You must have moved it when you were turning the burners on!
he: I DIDN’T touch it.
me: (muttering) did so…
he: What? I DIDN’T touch the oven dial. I wasn’t even close.
me: Now I have NO idea how long they’re going to take to bake! (mouthing silently) you did so turn the oven down…
he: It wasn’t me!
Hmmm. Well, thinking about it, I suppose it might have been me (doubt it, Ralph ). I did preheat the oven to 375F and then turned it down to 350F when I put the muffins in the oven (however, really, I KNOW it wasn’t me. I turned the oven down to 350F and no lower…. )
- ½ c fresh or frozen cranberries
- 4 Tbsp sugar (more or less)
- ¾ c unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ c wheat bran
- 1 c corn meal
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 6 Tbsp skim milk powder
- 1 tsp seasalt
- ¼ c oil
- ¼ c dried cranberries
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1¼ c water
- leftovers after feeding wild yeast – about ¼ c (optional)
- Put the fresh/frozen cranberries in a smallish bowl. Add sugar and stir. Set aside on counter for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes have passed, put the oil into a medium sized bowl. Turn the measuring cup upside down over the muffin tins. Use that oil (and extra if needed) to oil twelve muffin tins. Evenly distribute the dried cranberries into the muffin tins. Set aside.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir dry ingredients together in a largish bowl. Stir in sugared cranberries. Set aside.
- Turn the oven to 375F.
- Stir beaten egg and water (and leftovers after feeding wild yeast, if using) into the oil.
- Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients. Stir just enough to mix together.
- Evenly distribute the batter in the greased muffin tins and place on the top shelf of the oven. Turn the oven IMMEDIATELY down to 350F and bake the muffins for 30-35 minutes until they are golden brown and a skewer poked in the centers comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a bit on a rack before removing from the tins. Serve warm with butter.
Luckily, in spite of the oven dial fiasco, the muffins aren’t too bad. They’re a little dense. (Is that what happens when the oven is too cold? Or was it because the ingredients themselves were too cold?) But we kind of like them. Actually, we like them quite a lot.
Maybe I should turn the oven down to 275F on purpose. (It was NOT me who turned the oven! Really, it wasn’t. …I think.)
Rats. Now there’s no room in the freezer again.
1. I love that I can write as ungrammatically as I please in here and nobody is going to come in with a red pen to circle the offending phrase(s) and scrawl “AWKWARD; missing verbs; too many run-on sentences! 4/10 “.
Breadline Africa’s Worldwide Blogger Bake Off Challenge
The batter for these muffins could easily be poured into a loaf tin and turned into cranberry cornmeal bread to be made for the Bake Off Challenge.
Please see the following for more information:
Breadline Africa is an internationally registered charity supporting ground level African charities that are working with communities to help them to become self-sustainable and “break the cycle of poverty in the lives of individuals and communities in Africa through sustainable, long-term solutions”.