Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chocolate Cranberry Almond Muffins

Two weeks ago when Kellie and I were in the check-out line at our local Cub Foods I eyed a most delicious looking dessert on the front of a magazine.  I proceeded to flip through the pages of the magazine and decided, in short order, that I needed it.  It was filled with healthy, basic recipes that all included simple ingredients...and....each recipe had a picture. SCORE! I quickly tossed it on top of the mountain of goods we had just stacked on the conveyor belt, much to the cashier's dismay.

The evening after picking this up at the store I made a Tuna Noodle Casserole from it.  Kellie was a big fan, which is a good thing because she doesn't like my usual version of the dish.....(P.S. I've made a mental note to document attempt 2 for you.)  I haven't made anything from the magazine since, although I have been paging through the magazine on evenings after work, flagging recipes that sound intriguing and making a shopping list for a few ingredients I don't already have.


This morning I woke up and decided to throw together one of the recipes I've been drooling over since day one with this mag: Whole Wheat Oatmeal and Raisin Muffins, below....

There was only one problem.....actually 4.  I didn't have raisins, dates, wheat germ or wheat bran


......I had to have it with my morning coffee, but didn't feel like running to the store.  Thus, it was time to improvise.  I threw together the following:

Chocolate Cranberry Almond Muffins
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup crumbled shredded wheat cereal
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 cup skim milk mixed with 1 tablespoon white vinegar (my go-to substitute for buttermilk)
1/4 cup canola/vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup boiling water

First I mixed all the dry ingredients together and then dumped all the wet ingredients on top, less the boiling water.  I gave everything a good stir until moist and then added in the boiling water, stirring well to incorporate it thoroughly.  Then I let the batter sit for 15 minutes to give the oatmeal time to soften and turned on the oven.

 After the batter had time to "mingle" I used a large scoop to transfer the batter into a muffin pan sprayed with baking spray.

I topped the muffins with more crumbled shredded wheat.  At this point I need to make a confession....the last time I finished a box of shredded wheat I saved the crumbs in the bottom.  It looked like it would make a delicious topping to muffins or banana bread, especially since it was full of my favorite part of the cereal, the "frost!"

Doesn't it look amazing??? I'm really glad I was compelled to save the crumbs I usually throw away!

Next, toss these puppies in the oven for 20 minutes and go start a pot of fair trade coffee.  My coffee of choice is Caribou Coffee's french roast.  It is certified by Rainforest Alliance.

Twenty minutes seemed to be the perfect amount of time for these.  A cake tester came out perfectly clean on my first try.  I immediately transferred them from the pan to to a cooling rack after taking them out of the oven.

...AND LOOK...

Don't they look amazing?!!

These things started filling our house with the most amazing smell about 10 minutes into their baking process, just as the coffee finished brewing.  The two scents combined to make me VERY HAPPY! woke up Kellie!

Look inside these things...REALLY moist and super hearty.  They were so good and come highly recommended.

A partial-improv success!


  1. I'm lucky enough to live close to Cody and Kellie so I'm hoping (read expecting:) to be able to taste test frequently. On Sunday a 2-muffin delivery was made to my house. I had already had breakfast so warmed them on Monday morning. The muffins were still moist, hearty and flavorful. I had them for breakfast and was only hungry for a small dish of yogurt around these stick to your ribs with no desire for mid morning snacking. Delicious and definitely a 2 spoons up rating from me

  2. I just love all the photos and the idea of sitting by the fire with a cup of coffee and a nice warm buttery muffin! Yummy!