Thursday, November 1, 2012


I’m reposting this recipe so I can include it in the 12 Weeks of Christmas blog hop that I ‘ve just joined.  This muffin is a perfect adult treat for the holidays, and something a little different.   Sweetened dried cranberries are boiled in apple brandy before being added to muffin batter.  Everyone will love these, but please don’t give them to kiddies because, contrary to popular belief, all the alcohol does not burn off.

The muffins are standard size, but small, giving everyone just a few bites of a spiked, mildly spiced fruity treat.  Eat them for breakfast and start partying early!

Brandied Craisin-Applesauce Muffins
Adapted from Pillsbury
Rating:  9 out of 10

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup apple brandy
1 Tbsp. water
1 cup + 1 Tbsp. bread flour (or 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour) 
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each:  Diamond kosher salt, freshly grated nutmeg, powdered cloves
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans (or other nut of choice)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup sugar + 1 Tbsp.  NuNaturals Stevia)
1 large egg
3/4 cup thick applesauce
6 Tbsp. milk

In small saucepan, combine cranberries, brandy and water.  Bring to a full boil over high heat; boil 2 minutes; cover pot.  Steep 1/2 hour, till liquids are absorbed and mixture cools to warm.  In the meantime, set out a 12-cup muffin tin.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper baking cups.  (Spray paper cups with nonstick cooking spray for easier release.)  Set out remaining muffin ingredients to bring to room temperature.  Heat oven to 350F.

In small bowl, whisk together flour, soda, spices, salt and nuts.  In medium bowl, whisk together butter and sugar till combined and almost smooth.  Whisk in egg, applesauce and milk and beat till well combined.  Pour liquids and cranberries over dry ingredients and mix with spoon or spatula lightly and briefly just till barely combined.  Do not overmix or muffins will be tough.

Fill muffin cups with scant 1/4 cup batter.  Bake 15-18 minutes, or till toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs.  Cool on wire racks.  Garnish tops with powdered sugar.  Yield:  12 muffins  (Note:  These will freeze well, but the powdered sugar will melt as the muffins defrost.  You can re-sugar the tops before serving, if desired.)
Today’s post is part of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Brenda Thompson.  Her blog is Meal Planning Magic.

Be sure and check out all of the fabulous treats the other 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats bakers came up with this week.  And, if you would like to join the hop and add your own Christmas treat recipes, just contact Brenda for details.


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Yum yum, sounds delicious. Take care Diane

teresa said...

these look so good, i love those gorgeous flavors!

Lynda Olsen said...

Your muffins sound delicious Judy. This is a new one to me-you have the best selection of muffins anywhere!

Baker Street said...

Applesauce and apple brandy - Mmmm. I bet these were incredible moist and tender! :)

Judy said...

Lynda, thanks so much -- I love muffins because they're a not-so-harmful treat. No frosting means fewer calories, less cholesterol.

Dawn said...

These sound amazing and perfect for the holidays!

Karen said...

Sounds yummy Judy. Looks perfect for the holidays!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely muffin. Bet you have no arguments when you give these out.