15 December 2011

Improv Challenge: Cranberry Eggnog White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Today is reveal day for the Improv Cooking Challenge.  The premise of this challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it.

Improv Challenge

Last month, the challenge was pumpkin and cream cheese and I made those lovely Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls.  They were a big hit!  I'm probably even more excited about my recipe for this month's challenge ingredients: eggnog and cranberries.  I don't think I have ever cooked or baked with eggnog before.  It's not something I like to drink, but I don't mind the flavor, so I was eager to try it in a baked good.  And muffins are my go-to baked good of choice, which you already know if you are a regular reader.

I found this recipe for Eggnog Cranberry White Chocolate Muffins at Your Homebased Mom.  I was not familiar with Leigh Anne's blog, but she has some really tasty-looking stuff on there!  I thought these muffins sounded so delicious.  I made just a few minor adjustments.  Here's my amended recipe.

Cranberry Eggnog White Chocolate Chip Muffins

2¼ cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup eggnog
5 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, slightly softened

Preheat the oven to 375°.  Coat 18 muffin cups with baking spray.  

In a medium bowl, add together the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine.  In a large bowl, add together the sugar, eggs, eggnog, oil, and almond extract.  Stir until well combined.   Add in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.  Do not over mix.

Divide the batter among the 18 muffin cups.

For the streusel topping, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter.  Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or a fork until a coarse, crumbly mixture forms.  Sprinkle the mixture  on top of the muffin batter.

Bake for about 18-22 minutes, or a until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Makes 1½ dozen muffins.

I know this recipe pretty well by now, as I made it three times in about a month.  I made these muffins once, to try them out for the challenge, and they were so good that I made another batch to give to my sister when we went to her house for Thanksgiving, then I made them again for our fellowship/coffee time at church earlier this month.  They are not the easiest muffins to throw together; chopping the cranberries is quite tedious, but the end result is so much better than using dried cranberries.  I love the bright tartness they add to the muffins. They are the perfect balance to the sweetness of the other ingredients.  And I just love their vibrant red color.

As Leigh Anne says in her post, these muffins taste like Christmas!

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Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray said...

These sound excellent, Lesa!

Jen said...

Cranberries and white chocolate are like a match made in heaven as well! What a perfect treat for Christmas morning!

carolinaheartstrings said...

Hello fellow ICC blogger. Your muffins look moist and delicious! Come visit and check out our cookie. Also be sure to register to win the wonderful book we are giving away. Today is the last day. Look for the Southern Fried Women post.

Ann Mc said...

They look like Christmas, too! I know they're amazing if you've made them three times! Thanks for sharing and a terrific Improv entry!

Little Mommy said...

Yumm! Wish I had one for breakfast - looks great!

Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook said...

Thanks Rachel!

Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook said...

Yes, you've got to love the sweet/tart combo!

Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook said...

Thanks. Your cookies look great!

Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook said...

Thanks Ann!

Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook said...

Me too! :)

Frugal Antics said...

The white chocolate is a brilliant addition to wonderful muffins.

Teri @ The Freshman Cook said...

These look delicious! Perfect for Christmas morning!

nicole @ I am a Honey Bee said...

I had to pin your recipe! I def want to remember these and make them

Shelby Ruttan said...

Love these muffins - as well as the truffles and hot fudge sauce!

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