a holiday baking extravaganza

I went home for the holidays and suddenly had easy access to an oven and lots of ingredients, as well as several extra mouths. So I went a little crazy, and made two types of muffins and gluten free cookies, all in two days.
the giant (super cheap) squash
We got a giant squash from the grocery store, so I roasted it and substituted it for pumpkin in my pumpkin muffins (with various other modifications). They weren't very good, so I'll refrain from sharing the recipe. Turns out, pumpkin recipes don't get ALL of their flavor from the spices. My dad likes them, though, and snacks on them after he works out.

Next I made (gluten free) pistachio cookies. The recipe is over at Trissalicious. My mom said they were a bit too nutty for her; she would have added some spices or something citrusy to make them a little less nutty. I thought they were spectacular. I could see these being wonderful mixed into some pistachio ice cream. (We had them with pumpkin ice cream.. also a good decision.)

squash muffins + pistachio cookies + Strauss milk
Finally, I made cranberry walnut muffins. The base muffin recipe on this is absolutely incredible (very light, fluffy and moist). Expect to see lots of variations on this in the future. I'll have to find an applesauce substitute, though.. my mom had just made homemade applesauce, but we don't usually keep it on hand in the dorm.

One-Bowl Cranberry Walnut Muffins
18 muffins

cranberry walnut muffin
0.75c butter, melted+cooled
1c packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
0.5c unsweetened applesauce
1.5c white whole wheat flour
1.5t baking powder
0.5t baking soda
2c fresh cranberries
1c roughly chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
2. Mix the butter, eggs, sugar and applesauce together.
3. Put the flour, baking powder and baking soda in the center of the liquid ingredients and briefly combine the dry ingredients before incorporating them into the liquid ingredients. Mix dry into liquid until slightly lumpy.
4. Add cranberries and walnuts. Mix until incorporated.
5. Divide into lined muffin tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed and the muffins are lightly golden brown.


  1. These muffins look so delicious. Unfortunately in Greece I cannot find fresh cranberries.

  2. I love the muffin!I came across your site from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this cranberry widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about recipes with cranberry,Thanks!

  3. Katerina: There are definitely other options! We just made these muffins with chunks of banana instead of cranberries (also replace the applesauce with mashed bananas.) You could also try fresh or dried cherries (pit and halve the fresh cherries), or use frozen cranberries. I'd also be interested to try this with pomegranate seeds.. not sure if those are still in season.

    I hope that helps!


Let me know what you think! Leave a comment or question below.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...