1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease and flour the wells of a muffin pan, or line the pan with paper liners, and grease the liners.
2) Whisk together all the dry ingredients, including the cranberries and nuts.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, vegetable oil, and tomato juice.
4) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; don't over-mix, stir just until everything is moistened.
5) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each nearly full. A level (to slightly heaped) muffin scoop of batter for each muffin works well here.
6) Sprinkle the tops with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.
7) Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until they've domed nicely and they're lightly browned around the edges.
8) Remove the muffins from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.
Yield: 12 muffins.