Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another Raspberry Something

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I don't know what's up with my thing for raspberries lately. It's almost Thanksgiving and I'm still using a summer berry. I try to buy seasonal and local produce whenever I can and I'll admit that occasional cravings will override my good intentions. Raspberries should be out of season, but the container says they're from California. Even so, I felt slightly guilty for buying them. Just because they can grow them during the off season doesn't mean that they'll actually taste good. This was definitely the case with these raspberries. They looked good but they turned out to be bland. So instead of tossing them into the compost bin, I used them in these quick and easy cream cheese muffins. Right before adding them to my muffin batter I sprinkled a bit of sugar over my raspberries to add a bit of sweetness. I normally use a dollop of fruit preserves to top the muffins, but any fresh or frozen fruit will work just as well.

On a separate note, I want to apologize for my lack of posting lately. I haven't really been baking much during the last couple weeks. I spent most of this weekend preparing for Thanksgiving. Deciding on the menu, cleaning the house, washing the platters, serving bowls, and fancy glasses. I've done most of my grocery shopping and I just need to pickup the turkey and some sourdough bread for stuffing. I made a gigantic vat of turkey stock, a "scarborough fair" herb shallot butter for my turkey and a chunky cranberry sauce. The cheeses have been grated for the spinach gratin and I also made enough pie dough for my pecan tart and pumpkin pie. I still haven't decided if I'm going to make a third dessert. I'll see how I'm feeling later in the week. I still have a lot of chopping, slicing, brining, cooking and baking until T-day so I'll leave you now with a wish for a wonderful Thanksgiving! Have a happy and healthy one!

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Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins
(adapted from Better Homes and Garden Nov 1997)
(makes 24)


1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened at room temp
4 ounces (8tbsp/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
10 ounces raspberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 24 (approximately 3.5 fluid ounce capacity) muffin wells (or use paper cupcake liners).

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat 1 minute.

On low speed, add half of flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Mix in milk and then add remaining flour. Mix until just combined.

Divide batter among prepared muffin wells. Place 3 or 4 raspberries on top of each. (If your raspberries are not sweet enough, toss them with a bit of sugar before using.)

Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes. Cool. If desired, dust with powdered sugar before serving.

23 comments:

Meeta said...

Mary, I can so relate to your raspberry fever. I love berries too and I normally freeze my raspberries in the summer when they are in season so we can enjoy a few during winter. >I too am seeing raspberries in the supermarkets here but have not bought any. Your muffins give me excuse to take a few of my frozen ones out and give these a try! Hugs!

veron said...

My hubby just brought home , two big packs of plump raspberries and I must say they were good. Your muffins look delectable. Uh...what time should I show up for Thanksgiving dinner ;).

Manggy said...

I'm so jealous, we never get any fresh raspberries here! Positively truffle-like in rareness. In other news, I love the crumb of your muffins. Perfect!

Cheryl said...

Wow, sounds like quite a feast you are planning. Save me a seat.

Anita said...

I try to buy seasonal and local too, but when the raspberries are as pretty as yours, they're hard to resist! Have a great Thanksgiving - it sounds like you've got a fab feast!

Baking Soda said...

There is no such thing as too much raspberries.. especially when used in raspberry somethings!

ChefSara said...

Thanks for the recipe! I make weekly goody trays for a graduate seminar at my hubby's school, and muffins are a staple. I'm going to have to try these!

Deborah said...

Well, unless raspberries come from my in-laws garden, all of the ones in the market taste bland year round here. I use a lot of frozen ones! We did plant a raspberry bush, so hopefully we'll have some fresh from our backyard this year!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

VeggieGirl said...

Your fondness for raspberries is like my fondness for apples - even when they're NOT in season, I eat them year round!! I eat at LEAST one apple each day, all year round; and I never miss a day :0)

no need to apologize for lack of posting - each of your posts is so well-executed and captivating, that I'd rather see a few, phenomenal posts than a lot of mediocre posts (not that ANY of your posts are ever mediocre).

those raspberry muffins photograph so beautifully!! perfect way for you to enjoy your favorite summer berry!! :0)

Linda said...

Yep, it's not just you that's thinking about raspberries... I've been putting berries in everything lately. I picked up a cookbook at the grocery store and there were two raspberry pie recipes. They must be in season where Betty Crocker lives. I use frozen :)

Peabody said...

Like little red jewels sticking out.

Annemarie said...

You sound like you're cooking for a thanksgiving army! I admire your quick thinking with the raspberries in the face of tastelessness and a major holiday to prep for.

Tartelette said...

Well call me vain but I would not mind biting into a couple of these...just for the look! It is difficult to find tasty berries even in season. I bet they would good with frozen fruit though!

Judy said...

What pretty little muffins, with the raspberries just peeking out.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

These look lovely! A perfect little indulgent snack! What a nice way to keep a little "Summer" in your Winter.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving Mary. The muffins sound really good. I've only just learned how to make muffins and the art of not over mixing. I think the weather must be doind really weird things. We still have strawberries in the garden. In England this is just crazy. Despite the fact we've had several frosts it still doesn't seem to have killed them off.

Cynthia said...

Mary, your baking is always so inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Raspberries are not summer berries per se, they are also fall berries and are often grown at apple orchards where they can be picked right along side. Their season is May through November depending on the variety so don't feel guilty, these fall ones are quite tasty right now.

Elle said...

Gorgeous muffins...so pretty with the raspberries showing through on the top.
Hope your Thanksgiving was super and that you had time to rest after all that work and cooking and baking...lucky guests.

Hillary said...

I LOVE raspberries - these look sooo cute and delicious! Yayyy, people don't use raspberries in their desserts enough!

Nora B. said...

yummm! Look at those red jewels! I ate all my raspberries (too hard to resist), but I still have cherries and half a block of cream cheese, so I can make a cheery version (half recipe). Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Mary,
I love your blog. Even though, I am not a baker, I am inspired by your baked goods. I know that you don't take requests but with all my heart, I was wondering that maybe I can persuade you to come up with something out of this world, something that I tried at work around the holidays. It was maple and pecan caramel very subtly sweet, not very chewy like caramel but with a hint of saltiness. I hope you will try coming up with something like that. Please, please do...

Courtney said...

oh these look so tempting...i just bought some raspberries and i want to do them in a breakfast baked good and i'm having a hard time deciding between these muffins and your raspberry coffee cake...which should i do?