Pumpkin & Cranberry for the win!

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Chips & Salsa

Cheese & Burger

All are great combinations, but near the top of my list is pumpkin & cranberry. Luscious spiced pumpkin paired with tart dried cranberries makes me furiously happy. So when I saw these muffins on Kirsten’s Comfortably Domestic blog, I knew they would be mine. Mine! mwuhahahaha {that’s my evil laugh}

Photo used with permission; copyright Comfortably Domestic Blog

How do I describe these adequately? I don’t think I can. You really have to bite into one to fully appreciate it. They’re soft and delicate with a warm, robust pumpkin flavor. There’s a subtle scent of spice that leaps forward when you raise it to your lips, then the aroma of orange from the glaze leaps for joy just as you sink your teeth into this fall gem. I mean really. They are that good.

Pumpkin & Dried Cranberry Muffins

Can you smell that? It’s spice and pumpkin and cranberry and orange.

I take it back. These are not good, they’re glorious. And flavorful. And confirmation of why I love the pumpkin & cranberry combo and all things fall.

Speaking of fall, I’ve been on a canning kick. Earlier this week, I put up my second batch of cranberry goodness. It’s thick and loaded with fresh cranberries, dark sweet cherries and raspberries. I’m not sure whether to call it jam, preserves, or cranberry sauce on steroids. Whatever it is, it’s tasty.

While I was mixing up these muffins, it suddenly hit me that if dried cranberries are good, more cranberries are better. In the spirit of “more is more” I spooned a heaping teaspoon onto the top of half the muffins just before I popped them in the oven. Here’s what happened – and I hadn’t even glazed it yet!

Holy smokes, y’all. I’m in love with this muffin.

I’m sending Kirsten a jar of cranberry goodness as part of our Great Jelly Swap this fall. It’s not just that I need her approval for messing with her recipe a little. It’s that I NEED her to experience it firsthand. Because friends & food go together like Cake & Ice Cream. Fritos & Chili. Cheese & Crackers. Eggs & Bacon. Butter & Popcorn. Spaghetti & Meatballs. Mashed Potatoes & Gravy.

What are your favorite food combos? Any weird ones? I’d love to hear!
Should I go first? I like salt & vinegar chips on bologna sandwiches.

Kirsten’s muffins paired with my cranberry whateveritis; yum!

Note: I solemnly promise not to swipe other blogger’s recipes and publish them on my blog, so CLICK HERE to see Kirsten’s Pumpkin & Cranberry Muffins in the master’s own words (and with color photos to boot). She also shares tips on baking these as loaves instead of muffins, which would make fantastic gifts for family & friends during the holidays. Thanks for sharing, Kirsten! Solid A+

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17 Comments

Filed under Food & Recipes

17 responses to “Pumpkin & Cranberry for the win!

  1. Squeeeee! I am SO excited for the cranberry goodness coming my way! You have been a regular Canning Goddess this fall! I love a big ol’ dollop of jam in the middle of a muffin, so I will definitely be trying that with the pumpkin muffins.

    BTW–the pumpkin batter is also lovely sans cranberries, but with chocolate chips or a streusel topping instead. One of my favorite food combos is cinnamon and chocolate.

    • The Complete Package made Bourbon Pecan Pralines last month just for fun. I’m thinking he needs to make another batch so I can crumble some of them into your pumpkin muffin batter. Can you imagine? Crazy good. Can’t help thinking some caramelized pears would be good on top, too. See what you’ve started?

  2. Pat Counts

    You have outdone yourself. Thank you so much for sharing your yummy muffins. We are really enjoying them. I just finished another one, great breakfast.

  3. Craftiest #4

    Why, why do you torment me so big sis? Jelly, muffins, cake just to name the most recent. I have no doubts that the carmalized figs in my freezer would be mighty righteous on those muffins. As to food combos- garlicky humus with scrambled eggs on a flour tortilla is way up there on my list.

    • Also on my ‘to try’ list with this recipe – a spoonful of homemade apple butter on top or swirled in. Caramelized figs would be awesome, and so would pear preserves. Your food combo sounds… interesting. You had me at hummus & tortillas. It’s the scrambled egg element that throws me a little. My Baby swears your egg/hummus combo is tastier than it sounds. I think I’d have to try it and then decide. Better than scrambled eggs & Cholula hot sauce? Not sure about that.

    • Thanks, Paula. They are delicious. That Kirsten… she knows how to muffin. These have inspired all kinds of discussion about possible additions. I think the next time I make a batch, I’ll try a few of the ideas mentioned in the other comments – apple butter, caramelized figs, pear preserves. It all sounds so good!

  4. The extra dollop of cranberry is like a tasty little treasure in the middle of a muffin!

  5. Jeanne, I’d be furiously happy with these too! I love inspiration from fellow foodies and you’ve done Kirsten a fabulous nod. Coincidentally, I’ve been canning too: Gravenstein Applesauce and Habanero Pepper Jelly. Always a treat to stop by here…Cheers from NorCal!

    • Thanks, Brooks! I haven’t made applesauce this fall (yet) but I did make apple butter for the first time in forever. Also canned some Turkish apricot preserves, crabapple jelly, blueberry-pomegranate jelly, and two batches of cranberry/cherry – one with amaretto and one with raspberries. I’m thinking of tackling my first batch of candied jalapenos this week. That’s literally more than I’ve canned in the past 15 years combined. I’m not sure what’s gotten into me but I’ve been canning like a maniac lately.

      Your Habanero Jelly sounds awesome. We have a small jar of habanero peach from the Austin farmer’s market in the fridge right now. It’s great on softened cream cheese or on baked brie. Also great on grilled meats (pork loin, especially). Great to hear from you, Brooks. Hope all is well in NorCal!

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