September 17, 2010

Jordan Marsh Cranberry Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping {Webisode #41}

What’s Going on Today: Morning trip to garden center for first pumpkins of the season! Daughter off to school for a few hours.

Naptime Goals: Make Cranberry Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping for afternoon snack and breakfast tomorrow!

Tonight’s Dinner: Roast Chicken from last night, stripped off the bird and tossed with pasta.

Parenting Lesson of the Day: How quickly they adjust to new situations!

I am beyond thrilled with how quickly my daughter has adjusted to preschool. Knowing that she is happy makes me happy, and I can live with that. My parent’s always told me “you’re only as happy as your unhappiest child” and I understand what they mean. If my daughter came home in tears everyday I would be a wreck! But, she’s been coming home full of smiles and craft projects, evidence of time enjoyed in the company of her teachers and classmates.

A few new traditions have popped up while we’ve been adjusting to the school routine. First, every morning we talk about two activities she’d like to do at school that day while we pack her school bag with a toy and an extra sweater. After school our new tradition is snack time. I can see how it would be easy for me to toss her a quick granola bar when she runs in the door ravenous but, as you might guess, I am seizing this opportunity to make fun and different treats for her. We’ve been on a bit of a muffin kick lately – they just fit so perfectly into those little hands! – so I pulled out yet another muffin recipe to make this week.

Jordan Marsh Cranberry Muffins

I received this from one of those weird, yet oddly intriguing, recipe chain emails. I slung my recipe for Caramel Swirl Brownies off to my assigned sendee one sunny summer day in ’08, and received this one back from someone completely different. The title of it made me crack up  – Jordan Marsh! Do you remember that place?! – and I had to give them a try. The sender had warned me that the recipe looks pretty standard but they are, in fact, highly addictive. They were famous in the Boston area for many years for that very reason. Now I understand why.

The muffins are very dense with an incredibly tender crumb, almost like our favorite coffee cake, only in muffin form. Over time I’ve been dressing them up even more, adding a streusel topping and substituting seasonal fruit when necessary. In this case I used frozen cranberries since I found the first bag (!) of the season in my grocery store. I know it’s a little early to think cranberry but I always get swept up in the excitement of spotting my favorite seasonal produce. (I’m dorky like that, I know.) My daughter loves these too, especially when I go over the top and drizzle on some icing. I don’t know if it’s the excitement of her first school year, or the delicious of the sugary topping, but she gobbles them right down as she tells me about her day.

Recipe

Jordan Marsh Cranberry Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

loosely adapted from an internet recipe for Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

½ c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
½ t. Kosher salt
½ c. whole milk
2 c. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 ½ c. sugar

Topping:

½ c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
½ c. flour
¼ c. unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ c. pecans, finely chopped

Instructions

Today’s Kitchen Tools: Chicago Metallic 12 c. Non-Stick Muffin Pan, will last for years and years. Available here at my Amazon Store!

1. For the Muffins: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Butter a 12 c. non-stick muffin tin or place a muffin liner in each cup. With a mixer on low speed cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and mix until just combined. Then, pour in the milk and the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

2. In a small bowl mash ½ c. of the cranberries until pulpy and juicy. Stir these into the batter. Then, stir in the remaining whole cranberries until just incorporated. Fill each muffin cup ¾ full. Top each muffin with streusel filling (see below) and baked for 25-30 minutes.

3. For the Streusel: In a small bowl combine the flour, butter and sugar. Work it with your hands until everything is easily mix and large crumbs form. Stir in the pecans and set side.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

If you’d rather not do the fancy topping simply omit it and sprinkle some sugar on top of the muffins before they bake instead. These are excellent with blueberries as the original recipe is written.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making the batter takes about 10 minutes. Baking time is 25-30 minutes.

Naptime Reviews

My daughter adores these and takes a top down approach to eating them. Starting with the streusel and eating straight through to the bottom!

  • Kathylhommedieu

    The easiest and best muffins I have ever made. The sweet topping and the tart cranberries make these so delicious.
    I make a bunch and then freeze them and take them out one at a time when I am on the run.

    • Anonymous

      I am so glad you like them Kathy. Enjoy!

  • Sarah H.P.

    Made these with frozen blackberries and they were very tasty! My hubby gave me the nod of approval so it’s definitely a keeper recipe!

    • Anonymous

      That is great Sarah, I am so glad they worked out!