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Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
It’s pretty much a fact of life that pumpkin recipes come hand in hand with fall. While not everyone is gaga for pumpkin, it’s become something of a mission of mine to create a handful of pumpkin recipes that almost everyone will enjoy, whether they’re fans of pumpkin flavored recipes or not.
These pumpkin cranberry muffins aren’t your typical pumpkin muffins. I wanted to make a semi-sweet pumpkin muffin that can be enjoyed for either breakfast or as a midnight stack to enjoy while watching whatever cheesy horror movie you’ve been sucked into. While there is still a recognizable pumpkin flavor, these muffins aren’t so in your face pumpkin that people who dislike pumpkin will actually find these muffins enjoyable.
Similar to these chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies, these pumpkin cranberry muffins are given a boost in flavor with my go-to pumpkin pie spice blend, which I use in just about every pumpkin recipe. High-quality pumpkin purée and ground coriander are meant to go together, at least according to my husband who despises anything with pumpkin in it. I must say, these muffins provide a great comfort in the same way that ice cream does, especially upon receiving unexpected news or concluding a particularly trying day.
Last month, my husband and celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary at an animal cancer center where we held our breath waiting to hear good news about one of our three beloved dogs. Unfortunately, our dear Prudence was officially diagnosed with lymphoma.
I’ve always been one of those pet parents who swore I would never make my pet suffer because I was too selfish to do the right thing. I’ve witnessed numerous friends put their animals through difficult procedures that always seemed to be more for themselves than their pets. Faced with a difficult decision, my husband and I have chosen to treat her lymphoma with a 15-week chemotherapy treatment.
We’re two weeks into her treatment, and so far, she seems to be feeling well. The night we received the diagnoses, I tossed and turned all night wondering whether or not we made the right choice. I don’t want my pup to suffer. I want her to have a long, happy, and healthy life, just like she deserves.
Mama Pru, as I like to call her (she’s seriously the best foster dog mom ever—she raises puppies, kittens and even ducks) had a rough start in life. Nearly seven years ago, she was discovered in a cardboard box that had been duct taped shut with eight other puppies left to freeze overnight. She was one of four to make it.
Feeling helpless and feeling terrible for making my dog feel terrible, I whipped up a batch of these pumpkin cranberry muffins for my husband and I, and cooked her some ground beef and veggies, with a generous spoonful of pumpkin purée, which she absolutely loves. I’m sure she would have eaten a muffin, but seeing as there’s rye whiskey in them, I thought it wasn’t a very good idea.
So, if you are looking for an adult treat, these muffins are the perfect remedy to whatever life throws at you. Serve them warm, with butter and truffle honey and put on your favorite spooky movie (does anyone else still enjoy watching What Lies Beneath this time of year) and settle in for the night.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons rye whiskey, optional
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon high quality vanilla extract