I am a huge fan of breakfast and brunch foods.  Whenever I have family or friends over for brunch, no matter how small the group, I always go overboard!  I just want to be sure that there is a “little something” to please everyone – eggs, hash brown potatoes, fresh fruit, bacon and sausage, pancakes, french toast, waffles, and (of course) assorted savory and sweet muffins of all sizes.  But this week, even with such a large and impressive brunch spread, this savory mini muffin is easily going to stand out as the star of the meal.  Rich cheddar cheese and sweetly tart cranberries complement each other perfectly in these little muffins – bringing sharp, sweet, tart, delicious flavors together in a every single bite.  A platter of these little gems can’t help but look tempting on your holiday brunch table!!  So regardless of what your holiday brunch menu currently consists of, you will definitely want to make room to squeeze these muffins onto the table – I promise that neither you nor your guests will be disappointed!

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried sage

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

generous pinch of cayenne, or to taste

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 egg

1 cup skim milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray (or line with paper liners).
In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, and add the scallions, thyme, oregano and sage. Cook for about 2 minutes (until the herbs are fragrant, but not browning). Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt and cayenne and stir to mix, then stir in the cranberries and shredded cheese.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg lightly and then slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk the cooked scallions and herbs, (including all of the oil that they were cooked in) into the milk and egg.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 15 to 18 minutes (or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.) Let the muffins cool in the pan for at least 5-10 minutes before removing them from the tins to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 30-36 mini muffins. Per serving (3 mini muffins): 148 calories, 6 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 15 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 2.5 g added sugar, 4 g protein, 240 mg sodium, 20 mg cholesterol

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