Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

What is autumn without pumpkin?  I may be rushing the season but as soon as there is a chill in the air, I start thinking about all those winter vegetables just waiting to grace my table.  Autumn has always been my favorite season with its lush colors, brisk air, promise of my favorite holidays to come-Thanksgiving and Christmas, not to mention my birthday.  It’s the end of air-conditioning, the end of heat waves and time to bring on the pumpkin!

Here, to welcome in autumn, is a mouth-watering breakfast treat.  Actually, they’re pretty good just about any time.

Need 12-cup muffin tin, paper muffin cups

Ingredients:

½ cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups flour, sifted

1 t baking soda

2 t pumpkin pie spice

¼ t salt

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ cup buttermilk

4 T butter, melted and cooled

1 egg

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

½ chopped pecans

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Plump dried cranberries by covering with hot water for 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Mix together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl.  Combine white and brown sugar, buttermilk, butter, egg and pumpkin in another large bowl.  Whisk until incorporated.  Mix in the dry ingredients slowly until well incorporated, but don’t overmix.  Fold in pecans and cranberries.

Place medium-sized paper muffin cups into muffin pan.  Spoon batter into cups about ½ inch from rims.  Bake 20-25 minutes until tops feel firm but spring back to the touch.  Remove cups from pan and cool on a wire rack.  Makes 12 muffins.

Photographer Bill Brady http://bit.ly/9wFYxm
Food Stylist Brian Preston Campbell

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