Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nola's Sour Cream Cranberry Muffins: A Recipe Full of Memories

In early October my Grandfather, Richard Johnson, passed away.

 A grumpy, stubborn, funny, and ultimately caring man, he was 93. Luckily, my husband’s work allowed him time off for bereavement and we made the 10 hour drive to the funeral to celebrate his long life with family and friends. As soon as I saw my Grandma, Nola Johnson, small and frail looking in her wheelchair, I knew that that was my time to say goodbye. Tears in my eyes, I thought back to my childhood memories of delicious food and fabulous parties at her home. My Grandma was the consummate hostess. Her food was always impeccable and she always had more than enough for her guests. I have so many recipes of hers that I make regularly; many of which I will be posting in the months to come.

This one, in particular, has many memories for me. This is the recipe, in its original Bundt cake form, my Mom would make on Christmas morning with blueberries or apples in it. This is the one that Grandma would make for family get-togethers. It’s creamy texture and subtle sweetness make an almost irresistible flavor profile. The addition of the fresh cranberries, little sour notes punctuated by the cinnamon and sugar flavor, make it an unforgettable treat. Every time I make this I get requests for the recipe; and every time I make this, I think of Grandma. Both of the Grandma I remember from my childhood and the Grandma I remember from the last time I saw her.

My intuition was correct, exactly 5 weeks to the day after her sweetheart passed away, my Grandma joined him in the eternities. 

The day of her funeral I was stuck in Colorado, throwing a party I was obligated to throw, and thinking about my Grandma and the love she showed in life and through her food. I will always be thankful for the chance I had to mentally go through the good times we had and say goodbye to a larger than life woman.
So, when you make these gems, think of the people you love, and share the memories.

Main players all lined up and ready to go.
I love fresh cranberries! The best time to find them is in November/December, but I like buying them when they're on sale and sticking them in the freezer for use later on.

My little helper/ He LOVED it. The nice thing about an easy recipe like this is that it's not difficult to include family members of all ages.

I used a giant muffin tin as well as a regular sized. I think it would make about 15 muffins if only regular sized tins were used.

Perfect muffins. Golden brown with pops of jewel-tone red.

Look at that inside! I love those pops of color. Mmmmmm.

Nola’s Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins
1 c butter
1 3/4 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
¼c milk
½ tsp vanilla
1c sour cream
2c flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 bag fresh cranberries (can be frozen first)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beat until mixed in. Add in vanilla, milk, dry ingredients, and sour cream. Mix. Add in cranberries and  cinnamon (if desired). Mix until just combined (paddle attachment is the best for this step).

Scoop into greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and fork or toothpick comes out clean. Yield approx.. 15 muffins.

No comments:

Post a Comment