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Cranberry Sauce Muffins



Oh my heavens, I have taken quite a sabbatical from this blog! I have been a busy bee: teaching at 5 different schools, running own voice studio, and was just in a wonderfully fun but intense show at a local professional theater. My students just competed in a state-wide competition and one got second place! I have seen 8 local shows with my students in them lately and my university students are gearing up for their juries tomorrow and my diction students for their final this week. In other words, life has been HECTIC.

Today, however, I made it my number one priority to bake. I needed to create something delicious and smell something warm and welcoming wafting from my oven. Because I had some lingering cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, I decided to use it up in my holiday muffin recipe, starring pecans, oats, pumpkin pie spice and streusel topping. 

I had a student over for Thanksgiving and we made homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Vanilla beans are horribly expensive these days, so I make sure to use them for all their worth. After using them for the ice cream, I rinsed them with water and let them dry before placing them in a mason jar with granulated sugar. In a week’s time, I had the most amazingly fragrant and flavored vanilla sugar, perfect for this streusel. You can always add a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract with plain granulated sugar for this streusel as a quick substitute, though.

I look forward to sharing more recipes with you, especially during this holiday season. Happy Baking!

Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup leftover homemade cranberry sauce
Streusel:
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter

Method:
Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin pan with baking spray. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add in the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and pecans. Whisk together.

In another bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, milk, eggs and extract. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, then fold in the cranberry sauce. 

Using a disher scoop, divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin tin wells. 

To make the streusel, whisk together the flour, sugar and oats, then cut in the butter with your finger tips, knives or a pastry cutter. Sprinkle evenly over the muffins.


Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and they are golden brown; about 20 minutes. Enjoy!


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