Another freezing day, another morning spent baking. I can’t help myself. The parade of men in kilts closed down our farmer’s market last weekend, but I promise you that as soon as I have fresh vegetables again you’ll see more than just baked goods. But until then, ‘tis the season…
Vegan Cranberry Walnut Muffins
Ingredients: (makes 18 muffins)
3/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1 cup sucanat (or cane sugar)
3 tbsp ground flax (or sub 3 eggs)
6 tbsp water (omit if you use eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
And for a little “behind the scenes fun” of what’s really going on when I try to bake and photograph in my kitchen…
Moving right along…
To Prepare: Start by adding the Earth Balance and the sucanat (or cane sugar) to your stand mixer, and creaming together until fluffy.
While the mixer mixes, go ahead and get your “flax eggs” together in a small bowl. Combine 3 tbsp ground flax and 6 tbsp water, stir well, and let sit for at least 5 minutes to thicken.
Once the butter and sugar are fluffy, one at a time add the vanilla, the flax eggs, almond milk, and the applesauce while mixing on low speed. Applesauce is a great low-fat substitute in baking, because it provides moisture without all the excess calories of oil or cream.
Once you add the four wet items, you will look into your mixer and think “What did I do wrong?” Don’t worry – it’s supposed to look like that.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry items and then slowly add them to the mixer on low speed.
Stop mixing as soon as the batter comes together. Scrape down the sides and give it one more quick spin. Over-mixing is what causes muffins to break open and get tough!
Now we’re ready for the mix-ins. I decided to go with cranberry walnut for these, but you can also sub blueberries or other things if you prefer. The tartness of the cranberries is still there, but the sugar helps balance it out. And who doesn’t love a muffin full of antioxidants? :)
Add the cranberries and walnuts to the batter and mix to distribute.
Then spoon into a greased muffin pan. Fill each cup almost to the top. (If you want smaller muffins, you can make 24 by filling each cup only half-way.)
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack before serving (yeah right)…
I am a HUGE cranberry fan, and these muffins have just the right balance of tart and sweet.
Coupled with delicious walnuts, these muffins are spot on. Cranberry and walnut definitely goes down as one of the best culinary pairs, don’t you think?
I LOVE how the cranberries ooze out of the final product. Amazing.