I love cranberries. Fresh or dried, I love them. But I really love biting into a muffin or scone and tasting a fresh, juicy, tart cranberry. So began my thought process as I created these yummy pumpkin cranberry muffins. I started with my grandmother’s pumpkin bread recipe which is far and away the best pumpkin bread you will ever try. Very moist and not overly spicey. Why add pumpkins you ask? Because it’s January and I still about 20 pie pumpkins in my kitchen. People walk in and say “whoa that’s a lot of pumpkins.” Yes, we are horders and we love free things. So when our CSA said free pumpkins come and get them before the frost, we dropped everything and loaded up our minivan. So long story short I put pumpkin in everything now-a-days. Even my son who has an itty bitty vocabulary saw a picture of a pumpkin and said “cook and eat”. Most kids would have wanted to carve a jack-o-lantern it but not my 2 year old.
This recipe can accommodate pretty much any shape pan that you have. I used the giant muffin tins 50 minutes), stoneware mini loaf pans (55 minutes), loaf pans (1 1/2 hours), mini muffin tins, you name it. To make this at a high altitude use half the leavening agents called for in the recipe below. I am going to give you the base pumpkin bread recipe and then you can add in whatever you like.
1 2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup pumpkin (I always add more)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans and 1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3 Tbl frozen orange juice concentrate
1- 2 Tbl water
Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix all wet ingredients together. Add wet to dry and fold in Add-ins. Bake in greased pan @ 325°F for time mentioned above. Let cool briefly in pan and then use knife to loosen sides and invert on cooling rack. If you are glazing the loaves you can do it in the pan or on the rack. More will absorb into the bread if you do it in the pan. To make the glaze whisk together the orange juice and water and then add lots of powdered sugar until it is nice and sweet. It may take a cup or two of powdered sugar. Cool completely. These can be wrapped in plastic wrap then foil and make great gifts.