These muffins are a great treat this time of the year. After playing much with different versions, I believe this version hits the spot.
Orange-cranberry harvest muffins
3 cups whole grain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 cups half & half
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled (could use part coconut oil)
Zest from 1 orange
Juice from one orange
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
3/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, or walnuts or pecans, toasted and skinned
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup agave nectar
Make sure, super sure all ingredients are room temperature. These are softer and more delicious if you take all ingredients out in the morning, mix everything before you go to bed and leave the batter (at room temperature still, it will be ok) resting overnight and then fill muffin cups in the morning and bake.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, gum, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the half & half, eggs, melted butter, zest and juice. Stir quickly just to combine. Add the cranberries, hazelnuts, and both sweeteners and stir just to distribute the fruits, nuts, and sugar evenly throughout the batter. Cover with a clean cloth and let rest overnight.
In the morning, Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line muffin cups with paper liners.
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 inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.