Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cranberry-Almond Muffins

I am fresh off of a four-night, 12-hour shift work binge, and I am ready to share some food! As anyone who's worked nights knows, your eating schedule is anything but normal when you're nocturnal. Do you eat breakfast at 6pm and dinner at 8am, or the other way around? And when do you eat "lunch?" It may seem dumb that something as simple as eating can be so complicated, but sadly, on night shift, it kind of is.

It's taken me some time, but I think I've finally developed an  eating pattern that works best for me. Usually, I eat a normal dinner with Dane before I leave for work, lunch is around 2am, and when I get home at 8, usually hungry but exhausted, I prefer to eat something small. Small... and usually sweet. Like a muffin. Like one of these muffins.

Now, I realize that cranberries are so last month, but seriously... this is a must-try recipe. These muffins made me wonder why I don't bake with cranberries more often, because they are so tasty! I'm a total sucker for the sweet but slightly sour effect that fruits like cranberries and blueberries give, and it lends itself wonderfully to this hearty muffin base and the crunchy almond topping. And don't tell anyone but... these muffins are actually almost good for you. Whole wheat flour, antioxidant-rich berries, healthy almonds, and only 170 calories per muffin. See? Totally resolution-friendly. So no excuse not to make 'em. :)

Cranberry-Almond Muffins
adapted from Prevention.com
yields 12 muffins, roughly 170 calories each

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup + 2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 2/3 cup whole fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 12 small pieces
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line the cups of a standard (12-muffin) muffin tin with muffin cups or grease with shortening. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together the egg, milk, oil, and almond extract in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry in one addition and stir until just combined. Fold in the cranberries.
3. Evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared muffin cups. Place one small piece of butter on top of each muffin, and top with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar and the sliced almonds.
4. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. I love, love, love almonds in baked goods! I am however reserved when it comes to cranberries, so I'd probably switch in another berry. What gorgeous, colorful muffins! :)

  2. These sounds great. I love how the red wrappers add to the cranberry color. Nice choice!

  3. Oooh these look super good. I love using sliced almonds in baked goods. Love the pics!

  4. I'm not sure I could work nights...I like to sleep when it's dark LOL! But I could eat a WHOLE bunch of these bad boys! They look so jam packed with cranberries!

  5. Your eating schedule sounds backwards! :) Dinner, then lunch, then breakfast? If it work for you, then go with it! I'm okay with cranberries in January, they're yummy.

  6. These look amazing Jessica, what a great recipe! :)

  7. Delicious looking muffins:)

  8. I understand how eating patterns need to be adjusted because of work and having small bites help! This cupcakes is surely sweet and will give you an energy boost on those long night shifts.

  9. Those sound so good! You think working nights is bad, try having a schedule where you are on a night schedule three nights a week and a regular schedule the rest of the week. My body never knew when to eat. Definitely glad I stopped doing that.


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