Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winter Wonderland Fresh Fruit Muffins

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
“People get so in the habit of worry that if you save them from drowning and put them on a bank to dry in the sun with hot chocolate and muffins they wonder whether they are catching cold."-- John Jay Chapman

At last. It's snowing. The weather forecast got it spot on. Last night I sensed the colder weather, grey skies--change in the air. The storm was on its way. So, I got in the spirit and made a pre-winter gourmet muffin complete with fresh late autumn fruits and coconut--for a snowflake effect. And I added another surprise that surprised me!...
When I frosted these banana-cranberry muffins with a cream cheese frosting--I didn't let them cool long enough. Later, I was pleasantly surprised. I accidentally created the Twinkie Effect. The creamy frosting trickled into a well for each muffin. It was meant to be. I guess it was another sign that snow and slush was on its way.

Fresh Fruit Muffins
1 1/2 cups all natural whole wheat flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large brown egg
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup European Style butter
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup fresh cranberries, whole
2 ripe bananas

Melt butter in a pan on low heat. In a bowl mix butter with beaten egg and sugar. Combine mixture with flour, powder, soda. Stir in mashed bananas and cranberries. Add spice and vanilla. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or till golden brown and muffin tops bounce back at a finger's touch. Cool for about 20 minutes. (Unless you want the Twinkie Effect.)

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup European Style butter
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
coconut, shredded

Melt butter. Stir in cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Frost tops and sprinkle with fresh coconut. Eat warm and top with a few fresh strawberries. Note: If you're trying to lose weight, dust the muffins with confectioner's sugar, lose the frosting.

Yes, I love these muffins. This morning I warmed up one in the microwave and teamed it with a cup of hot chamomile tea. The tartness of fresh cranberries complement the sweetness of the bananas. And the creamy texture of the frosting that I love on carrot cake paired with coconut flakes? Ah, sweetness. Plus, I found fresh strawberries (on sale) at the store. What a wonderful pre-winter delight.

But now, the wild winds of this morning have calmed, sort of. The snowflakes are falling onto the ground. I brought in kindling, more wood--Mountain Woman NOT! Alas, I must go put on my winter garb and walk the pooches on slushy snow. News Flash: Our supermarket is down--blackout. Not so sweet. After our winter wonderland romp another muffin with a cup of hot chocolate and a fire may be just the trick to make this human wag her tail.


  1. Bought some real good cookies today as I was stocking up for several days of snow. I can see right now I won't be driving anywhere, the dirt road is covered with snow. I'll post some pictures I took tonight. The cookies, I bought aren't going to last very long because I'll eat them until I get sick and keep eating them. They are Cream Cheese Brownies. Some egg nog and cookies, I'm set in heaven. I can't stop eating these cookies. I thought they would last the week but might be gone by morning.

  2. Egg nog? Light with nutmeg, that's the ticket. So much snow to shovel. Ugh. Not enough to hire someone--yet. Where is there a place where Fall lasts year round? I want to live there. And I can do 20 degrees or less without snow.

  3. Oh those are adorable and sound delicious!