Cranberry Muffin Bites

I made these baby tarts last week when I had had an abundance of cranberries. By abundance, I mean one bag. But I quickly realized I didn’t care for them as much as I thought I did, so it felt like it took me forever and a half to get through the seemingly small bag. 
I will say, the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad was a great, tasty use of the berries. But when it came to trying to bake a sweet dessert (or breakfast treat), I just couldn’t get past the tartness. 
Even though this wasn’t my favorite recipe, I figured some of you may have different tastes and really like cranberries!

What you don’t see in the pictures is a white chocolate drizzle overtop of each mini muffin. The addition of the drizzle was an afterthought, but helped to play down the tartness. I think it could be great to even mix white chocolate chips into the mix before baking.

All gone 🙂 And now I can move onto better fruit-filled things.
Cranberry Muffin Bites
Makes about 12 mini muffins
Ingredients:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oats
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup white chocolate morsels, melted
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill mini muffin tin with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine first four ingredients. Stir well.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk applesauce, melted butter and the egg. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then fold in cranberries.
4. Use a small spoon to fill muffin cups with about 2 teaspoons of filling. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until tops become golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.
5. Allow to cool for about ten minutes before drizzling with white chocolate.
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Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

I have been making a conscious effort to use my crock pot more frequently. Yesterday, I had the intention of making a delicious apple and cranberry chicken breast dinner. I knew it would be risky, but sounded like it had a lot of potential. I would have tried something safer, but really just wanted to use the bag of cranberries in my fridge (I have no idea why I bought them in the first place…) Everything was thrown into the pot right after lunch and cooked the rest of the day. 
Around 6pm, I started taste-testing. That’s when plans changed.
It’s not that it was bad, but the chicken really didn’t absorb much of the fruity flavors like I hoped. At that point I still wasn’t quite hungry enough for dinner anyway, so I had time to come up with Plan B. What could I do that wouldn’t put this chicken to waste?

Not too long later it hit me. Chicken salad. 
It must have been my subconscious telling me how much it missed Bull Street Gourmet’s Chicken Salad Sandwich (made with cranberries and cranberry mayo) when I chose the burger instead the other day. Using this crock pot chicken gone wrong (for its original purpose), I knew I could pull off a successful chicken salad.
I used the last of my cranberries to make a sauce that was just what I needed to bring it all together. 

The result was a better-than-I-imagined sandwich. It would also be great on top of a bed of greens. 
This is not what I had in mind when I first turned on the crock pot, but I’m glad it worked out the way it did. 
The best part? It’s PINK! A pink sandwich is always a good thing.
Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

Makes about 4 servings
Ingredients:
For the chicken-
1 pound chicken breast
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup
For the cranberry sauce (makes more than needed for salad)-
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
For the chicken salad-
1 pound cooked chicken breast, shredded
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon mayo
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons Craisins
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
Directions:
1. To prepare the chicken, place all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 4-6 hours.
2. While chicken is cooking, prepare cranberry sauce by adding water and sugar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add cranberries and return to boil. Turn heat to low. Let simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into a bowl and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate until needed. 
3. When chicken is ready, remove from pot and shred breasts in a medium bowl.
4. In a small bowl, combine mayo and 1/4 cup cranberry sauce. Add mixture to shredded chicken. Add Craisins and pecans. Stir until well-combined. Cover and refrigerate to chill at least 1 hour before serving.