Popcorn and Cranberries have been a popular pairing for Christmas Tree garlands for generations. I’m not certain who started it, but I am glad they did.
This unlikely pair work well together to create a moist, lightly spiced muffin that will get your senses thinking holiday.
What You Need:
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Cup or Small Bowl and Fork or Small Whisk
- 12 Cup Muffin Tin
- Cooking Spray or Muffin Liners
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Wooden Spoon or Hand Mixer
5 Cups Pre-popped Popcorn
1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar + 1 TSP Ground Cinnamon – Mix the sugar and cinnamon together
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 TBSP Baking Powder
½ TSP Salt
½ Cup Dried Sweetened Cranberries
1 Cup Milk, use your preferred kind
1 Egg, large or medium
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1/2 TSP Almond Extract
Preheat the oven to 350 ○F
Grind the popcorn in a blender until it makes a fine flour. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Make Cinnamon Sugar – In a cup or small bowl, mix the first quantity of sugar and cinnamon together using a fork or small whisk until well combined. Set aside.
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper or silicone liners. Set aside.
Toast the Almonds: Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Spread shelled nuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly brown and smell like heaven. Set aside to cool.
When the almonds are toasted, turn the preheat oven temperature to 400 ○F
Putting It All Together:
To the bowl of popcorn flour add the All Purpose flour, the second quantity of sugar, baking powder, salt and cranberries and stir until blended; set aside.
Beat together milk, egg, oil and almond extract together.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling each one about two-thirds full.
Equally top each muffin cup with the almonds and sprinkle each with the cinnamon sugar.
Bake 15-18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.
Move the muffins to a cooling rack until they can be handled and enjoyed.
You can personalize this recipe by changing the nuts and dried fruit used.
Try dehydrated apple with walnuts or a dried mixed field berry with pine nuts. Use apricots with pecans and change the ground cinnamon to ground ginger. I have tried each of these and my family and I loved them.
You can make these muffins ahead and freeze them for up to 3 months in freezer bags, or wrapped and put in a tightly sealed container. Make them ahead when you need a quick breakfast that gets you thinking ‘Holidays’.
How did you personalize it? Share your combinations in the comments.