Cinnamon Crumb Muffins with Cranberry Topping (Vegan)

Yesterday morning I awoke to the 9:00a.m.. sunlight spilling through the blinds in my front room. I moved the slats with my fingertips to sneak a peak at the bare, snow-less sidewalks (Funny how I used to have high hopes for snow days as a child in always-sunny California). For a moment, I forgot that the temperature outside was 20 degrees and let my mind wander back to summer mornings of warm hues and glows of energy. 

Perhaps I let my day dreams get the best of me, for I stepped outside to get the mail without a coat and returned inside excited to tell Luis about what a beautiful day it was outside. "It must be at least 40!" My words were so full of ignorance, which I hadn't learned until I checked the weather about an hour later to find that the temperature had not risen above 25. 

Some people find their mood elevate in cold climates. Adversely,  I am constantly reminded that I am 110% happier and confident in warm places. Therefore, if I want to close my eyes while the sun hits my face and pretend that I am warm for 5 seconds on a Tuesday morning in January, then I will, and I will be happy.

Perhaps if i click my heels 3 times, then warm weather, fresh muffins, and coffee will appear at my side. 

"Theres no time like summer, there's no time like summer," I'll say. 


Cinnamon Crumb Muffins with Cranberry Topping (Vegan)
Yield: 1 dozen 

Ingredients:

For the muffins:
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1-1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or melted vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar + 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon)
For the crumb topping:
  • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unbleached flour 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, cold
For cranberry topping:
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and lightly coat with oil.
  2. Prepare the flax egg in a small bowl by stirring ground flax meal and water together with a fork. Let rest for 10 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the finished flax egg, almond milk, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and almond extract. 
  4. Fill muffin liners 1/3 of the way full. Then, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the batter and finish filling until each liner is 2/3 of the way full. 
  5. Quickly prepare the crumb topping by rubbing the butter into a mixture of the sugar and flour until it resembles large crumbs. 
  6. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the muffins and Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When finished, remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 
  7. Meanwhile, make the cranberry topping by combining whole cranberries, water, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently and mash cranberries with a spoon or fork to the best of your ability. After about 3-5 minutes, When the sauce is smoothed and slightly thickened, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Lastly, lay the sauce over the top of the muffins. 

I caught a glimpse of 2015's warmth during the first week of January. These photos were taken during a day trip to Santa Monica, CA with my mom. We walked the pier and sat on the beach. We watched the tide roll in and the palm trees sway back and forth. There's something about the salty air, the ocean's glow, and the delicate sand that slipped between my toes that smoothes my worries away like an iron that collapses the stress of wrinkled fabric. My mom celebrated her birthday on Tuesday the 13th and I would have given anything to be back in this paradise with her. Happy birthday and many more to come. 








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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall