Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Snowmuffiny Christmas . . .

I think that one of the most satisfying comfort breads during cold weather is cornbread, fresh from the oven. Subtly sweet with a pleasantly coarse texture, cornbread is always fun to eat. And the fun doubled when I broke out the snazzy silicone snowflake mold I found at Target! Around Halloween they carried pumpkin-shaped molds that I sadly passed on, but this six-cup snowflake mold was only a dollar so I went for it, muffin fan that I am.

I overfilled each cup with batter, though, so the bottoms of the muffins (which were the tops while baking, if you can follow that) are rounded from a slight rise during baking. As a result, the snowmuffins don't sit flat as they should. Still, the edges of the snowflakes lent a crispiness to the final products that made this already proven recipe truly shine. And now, to put my money and my muffins where my mouth is (I think that makes sense . . .), a recipe for you!

Cranberry Cornmeal Snowmuffins

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

1 cup yogurt (I used fat-free maple)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin tin of your choosing (either for 6 jumbo muffins or 12 regular muffins) with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk, yogurt, and egg, stirring until just blended without over-mixing. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are a golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack to complete the process, or devour immediately!

These muffins taste great plain, or try them topped with pumpkin or apple butter, honey, butter, sour cream and your favorite salsa, or maple syrup. Keep any leftover muffins (as if there would be! pshaw!) in a airtight storage container for 1-2 days, or put some up for the future in the freezer.

Makes 12 regular muffins, or 6 jumbo muffins.

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