Cranberry Spice Muffins

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Ingredients for the Muffins

2 cups (255g) all purpose (Type 550) flour
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 tsp (double acting) baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (180 mL) cold well-shaken buttermilk
3 oz (85g) unsalted butter, melted and tepid
2 large eggs
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (225g) dried cranberries soaked in juice to plump them up (or soaked raisins, fresh blueberries, etc)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Ingredients for the Topping

1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
3 oz (85g) unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the over to 375°F (190°C).  Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners (or, butter and flour the cups).  Have all ingredients at room temperature except for buttermilk.

In a large bowl, whisk to blend the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, butter, egg, lemon zest, and vanilla until combined.  Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spoon just until moistened.  Don’t beat until smooth, or the muffins will have a coarse texture.  Using the spatula, fold in the fruit and nuts just enough to incorporate them into the batter.

Fill the muffin cups three.fourths full.  Bake the muffins until they are golden, spring back when gently pressed in the center, and are starting to pull away from the sides, 18 to 23 minutes.  Cool in the pan just until they can be handled, 10 to 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon and cardamon.

While the muffins are still warm, gently remove them from the pan one at a time, dip the tops in the melted butter, roll in the spice sugar to coat, and then place them on a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  Store at room temperature under a cake dome for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 10 days in a sturdy covered container.  Thaw at room temperature 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Makes: 1 DOZEN MUFFINS