Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins with Cranberry Cashew Icing

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From October to Mid-January, I shamelessly put pumpkin in everything. Every time JD and I go to the store, I pick up a can of pureed pumpkin “just in case” I want to make pancakes, muffins, scones, icing, bread, pasta, etc. Pumpkin tastes like my favorite season.

This recipe grew out of excess (that makes it sound like a bad thing) holiday food: cranberries, pureed pumpkin, and cashews. I also made oatmeal out of this combination yesterday for breakfast, so I already knew the treat I was getting this morning.

I love muffins because they’re an on-the-go type of breakfast. I rarely have time to sit down and eat breakfast in the morning, so I’m usually stuffing down a piece of toast as I drive to school. These muffins are filling, flavor-packed, and a perfect addition to your morning coffee.

The icing is so easy, and it hardens in the oven just like store-bought icing. I probably ate a quarter of the icing with a spoon as I was making the muffins because it’s that good.

Don’t be deterred by the bake time–it gives you time to get ready, read a book, or go back to sleep while your kitchen fills with the aroma of almost-Christmas goodness.

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Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins with Cranberry Cashew Icing
Makes 12 muffins
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:
2 15-oz. cans of pureed pumpkin (you can substitute mashed bananas)
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. water
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. ground flax
3 c. whole wheat pastry flour (you can substitute other light, fluffy flours such at oat flour)
1 1/2 c. fresh cranberries (these can be whatever berry you want)

Icing ingredients:
1 1/2 c. cashews
2 tsp. vanilla
4 tbsp. maple syrup
2 c. fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mash all wet ingredients together with a potato masher.

Then add dry ingredients and mix together until just covered. Fold in cranberries.

Bake for 45 minutes.

While baking, prepare icing by adding all ingredients to a high-power blender. Blend until fairly creamy. It might be a little chunky, but that’s okay.

Take out and add icing. Baking for another 8-10 minutes to harden icing. You can also bake the muffins instead for 45 straight minutes and add the fresh icing to it at the end.

What’s your shameless holiday food?

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