Holiday Breakfast

Cranberry Harvest Muffins
The recipes and text are from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten. Excerpted by permission from Clarkson N. Potter Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc. 1999
Photographs by Melanie Acevedo

This wonderful autumn recipe comes from Sarah Chase's Open House Cookbook, which has inspired me for years. She had a famous store called Que Sera Sarah, on Nantucket, where cranberries are harvested. We have made these muffins thousands of times at Barefoot Contessa and they are a hit every time.

Note: Greasing the surface of the muffin pan will make it easier to take the muffins out. Also, this batter can be made a day ahead, and scooped and baked before breakfast.

Yield: 18 Large Muffins


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup medium-diced Calimyrna figs
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk, eggs and melted butter. Stir quickly just to combine. Add the cranberries, figs, hazelnuts and both sugars and stir just to distribute the fruits, nuts and sugar evenly throughout the batter.

Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick comes out clean.

...Published: December 2004