Cranberry Chocolate Chip Walnut Muffins

Not a lot needs to be said about these yummy globs of muffin goodness except that they are easy, quick and satisfying without being sickly sweet. The cranberries, walnuts and chocolate add taste and texture and the limited amount of sugar makes these wholesome. Yes…a treat can be wholesome and taste good too.

The derivation of the word muffin comes from the French word moufflet which is often applied to bread and means soft.  There are two types of muffins, English and American. English muffins are a flat yeast raised muffin  with a history dating to the 10th and 11th centuries in Wales. American style muffins are a quick bread made in individual molds and appear in cookbooks from the 18th century. Originally leavened with potash which introduced carbon dioxide gas in the batter, we now use baking powder which was introduced in 1857 and put an end to the use of potash as well as to the profitable potash exports to the old country.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tblsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup of milk
1 egg
1/4 olive oil (you may use vegetable oil instead)

Directions

Turn oven to 370f. To begin add dry ingredients to a large bowl and gently stir together.  Add fruit, chips and nuts to dry ingredients stir until coated.  Lightly beat egg into milk then add oil. Stir until slightly blended. Pour wet mixture over dry and gently fold ingredients until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. Batter will become dense and muffins will be tough.  Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups and add muffin batter to top of cups. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until muffins slightly rise and are golden brown.

FOOTNOTE: I generally try to use organic ingredients when making these. The use of olive oil may seem strange in a muffin recipe but, it adds a distinct and unique flavour. The cranberries may be changed out to any other fruit you like as well as the nuts and even the chocolate. I have made these with blueberries, hazelnuts and white chocolate as well.