Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Freshly baked muffins for Jacki's special, and may I add incredible, Christmas Day stuffing! Yum!

So last year Jacki, David's mom, made this fantastic stuffing to go with the turkey for Christmas Day dinner. I was so excited about it that I just had to ask her how she made this stuffing. Turns out, she had seen one of Rachael Ray's stuffing recipes where she had added some flavorful muffins to her dish. So Jacki decided to use this idea into her own stuffing! Using a combination of stale bread and moist muffins, as well as the essential stuffing ingredients, the stuffing turned out wonderful!

Since I just loved Jacki's stuffing so much last year, I asked her if she would make it again this year! She was happy to do it, but this time I asked if I could help out by making the muffins she would be adding to the stuffing. I decided to make a variety of muffins: Cornbread - of course, the sweet kind; apple cinnamon with walnuts, thanks to Baking Bites; and cranberry orange with walnuts, thanks to For the Love of Cooking, a blog I recently started following. To the basic stuffing ingredients of sauteed onions and celery, seasoning, butter, and broth (rather than the normal chicken broth, she used a white wine and herb broth), Jacki also added a couple of cinnamon streusal muffins, chopped apples, spices (cinnamon & nutmeg) and walnuts. She decided to only use muffins this time (rather than a combo with stale bread), and the moistness of the muffins made up for a lot of the chicken broth she normally adds to her stuffing. Well the stuffing turned out great! The stuffing came out of the oven and not only smelled delicious, but had a nice, crisp top layer. And yes, I attacked it on Christmas day :)

Here are the recipes for the muffins used in the stuffing:

Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Muffins (Original Recipe)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and shredded
  • 1/2 - 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tbsp coarse sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease (or line with paper liners) a 12-cup muffin tin .
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and egg. Whisk in melted butter, vegetable oil and vanilla. Working in two or three additions, alternately stir in flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with an addition of flour and mixing only until no streaks of flour remain visible in the batter. Stir in shredded apple and chopped walnuts.
  4. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups filling each to the top, or slightly over.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together coarse sugar and additional 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Sprinkle generously over muffins.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  7. Cool muffins on a wire rack.
  8. Makes 12. 
Cranberry-Orange-Walnut Muffins (Original Recipe)
  • 1 cup (6-oz pkg) dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp orange rind
  • 1/4 cup canola
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 - 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Coarse raw sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (see note*). Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Place the dried cranberries and the freshly squeezed orange juice in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes. This helps plump up the dried cranberries.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and orange rind together until well mixed. In a separate bowl, add the orange juice, cranberries, canola oil, and egg and mix together. Pour this mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined. Fold in chopped walnuts.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle a bit of course raw sugar on each muffin top. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for a few minutes.
* Note: I do not recommend baking these muffins at 400 degrees F due to higher risk of burning outer part of muffins before inner portion is completely baked. Recommended temperature: 350 degrees F, but will require a longer baking time of 20-25 minutes.

Links to Rachael Ray's Stuffing:
Cranberry Orange Stuffing
Corn Muffin Stuffing

Thanks again Jacki for making a fantastic stuffing!


  1. Rachael, both these muffins sound wonderful. I'm new here but really like the food and recipes you feature. I'll be back often. Blessings...Mary

  2. I have never heard of Jacki's sounds really good though!!! The apple cinnamon muffins look incredible!!! lol I want to make them. Wish you were here!!! Love ya