Lemony Cranberry Muffins
- 1/2 cup granulated cane or coconut palm sugar
- 5 Tbs. butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
- 1 egg (or 3 Tbs. very warm water + 1 Tbs. flaxseed meal – stirred and set aside for 10 minutes)
- 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt – dairy or non-dairy (coconut or soy)
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest (or dried lemon rind)*
- 1 1/2 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal, gluten-free (I used Arrowhead Mills)
- 1 Tbs. baking powder, gluten-free
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt (optional – if using Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks, omit salt)
- 3/4 – 1 1/4 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped**
Preheat oven to 400°F (static) or 375° F (convection). Line 16-18 muffin tins with muffin papers.
Beat together sugar and butter until light. Add egg (or egg substitute), yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest, beating until well mixed. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated – the batter will be very thick. Fold in the cranberries.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and smooth tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for 20- 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and springy to the touch. Let cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, store in a zip-top bag or in a Tupperware container.
*A note on zesting a lemon: The true “zest” of a lemon is obtained by finely grating only the yellow portion of the lemon peel by using a grater with very small holes or microplane grater. Only rub down to the white pith; do not grate the pith in with the peel, as it is bitter, rather than tart. Be sure to wash your lemons with soap and water, then dry well before peeling.
** A note about cranberries: I usually buy cranberries when in season, then freeze them. This means that I always have cranberries for those urgent recipe cravings, but it also means that I can chop them in my food processor and add to recipes without the juice staining the batter. Notice how the crumb on these lemony muffins retained its lovely yellow hue, punctuated with ruby red berries? If I had used room temperature berries, folding them in it would have left streaks of red bleeding through the batter. No less tasty, mind you, but perhaps not the color you were going for.
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Copyright 2011 Jules E. Dowler Shepard
Reprinted by Permission