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The zing of cranberries and the hearty crunch of walnuts are a classic New England combination. These muffins are excellent warmed for breakfast. This recipe is the same one featured in King Arthur Flour's most recent magazine ad.
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Preheat your oven to 500°F
Mixing the dry ingredients: Blend together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) as long and asvigorously as you want. Continue until all dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add the berries and nuts, and stir them until they are evenly coated with the dry ingredients.
Mixing the liquid ingredients: In a separate bowl, beat the liquid ingredients together until they are light.
Mixing the liquid and the dry: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Here's where you have to restrain yourself. Take a fork or wire whisk and blend the two for 20 seconds and no more. The secret to light and tender muffins lies in this final blending. It's okay if you've left some lumps that look as if they want more stirring. They really don't. So, no matter how hard it is, resist the impulse.
Baking: Fill the cups of a lightly greased, 12-cup muffin tin three-quarters full. As soon as the muffins are in the oven, DROP THE TEMPERATURE TO 400 DEGREES (this is important). Bake for about 20 minutes or until they're a lovely, golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Best served warm.
Note: When you put muffins in a very hot oven initially and then immediately drop the temperature, you help create the peaks that make them so appealing.