Moose Muffins

When my niece and nephew were little they had a book titled “If you give a Moose a Muffin”. The premise was that if you give a moose a muffin, he’ll want some jam, so you’ll have to go berry picking, and as you do you see some lovely flowers for the table, and you know how much moose-folk like flowers, but then you’ll need to make something to put the flowers in…. You get the picture. I seem to spend a good deal of my time making moose muffins. I start out with plans to, say, clean the apartment. As I’m dusting I stop to straighten the magazines on the ottoman (all food themed, naturally). Hmm, I really need to go through those dog-eared pages of recipes and review the keepers and trashers. You know, a cup of earl grey would be nice while I do this, and maybe a cookie. What was that oatmeal cookie recipe Mom had?  Yup, moose muffins, AGAIN!

It’s even worse when I’m planning a dinner party. There I am, list in hand, very focused. I will not be distracted. I will only buy what is on my list. Off to the market I go, steely in my resolve as I head down the first aisle. Carrots, check. Celery and onions, check. Just three more things and I’m done. Ooo, almonds are a really good price here. Plop, in the cart it goes. OK Karin, FOCUS. Chopped tomatoes, check, lentils and stock, check, check. Done! Hmm, those sausages look good. What was that recipe I cut out? Roasted grapes with sausages, definitely want to give that a try. Plop, plop. I probably would like some rosemary in it too, and I spied pots of herbs by the door. Plop, plop plop. It would be so nice to have an herb garden on my windowsill. I think there’s potting soil over there. PLOP! Suddenly there he is, standing right in front of me with muffin crumbs on his antlers and smiling that big moosey grin.

I’m not sure there’s a cure for me. Use lists you say? My pockets and purse are filled with them, and I’m still baking for Bullwinkle. Luckily, he likes my cooking.

They're out there just waiting for those muffins

My moosey friends prefer I include a muffin recipe today. They know they’ll get a taste eventually. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I created one that would make a nice addition to the holiday breadbasket. These Mini Pumpkin Corn Muffins with Fresh Cranberries are not overly sweet and should please your non-moose guests too.

Mini Pumpkin Corn Muffins with Fresh Cranberries

Makes 24 mini muffins

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 TBSP grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 TBSP canola oil (or other flavorless vegetable oil)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole cranberries, chopped fairly fine

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin pan with nonstick spray. Whisk the first 8 ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside. Add all of the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl and whisk until they are well blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined (over-mixing makes tough muffins.) Fold in the chopped cranberries.

Fill the mini muffin pan with 2TBSP portions of the batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan after 6 minutes. Remove the mini muffins and cool on baking rack. Calories: approximately 65 each.

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