Cruising the Blogs: Cranberry Orange Muffins

Sunday January 2, 2011

photo courtesy of Sweet Kat's Kitchen

It’s technically the end of the cranberry season. But I notice big piles of cranberries in the produce section, begging to be taken home and frozen for use throughout the year. Hopefully you stashed a few bags in the freezer to hold you over until next fall holiday season. Frozen cranberries are excellent for making muffins, quick breads, even in stews or as one of your favorite cranberry sauces at Easter, if you haven’t noticed.

I have a friend named Kat who is a small commercial baker by trade, and while looking for her new site of Sugar Kat, I ended up at a site called Sweet Kat’s Kitchen. I was pulled in by a wonderful muffin photo on Sweet Kat’s and enjoyed reading her blog. She made these wonderful fresh cranberry orange muffins, a yummy muffin with a fruit and citrus combo I adore, and mentioned the recipe was from a William-Sonoma cookbook. La de dah…lo and behold, it all sounded vaguely familiar. I was once more attracted to one of my own recipes, and just in time for the fresh cranberry season.

This is a very classically proportioned muffin: 1 cup of sugar to 2 cups of flour with 1 cup of liquid and 1 egg. You can’t go wrong. Perfect domed tops and a nice firm cakey texture. These are perfectly scrumptuous. This is the one cranberry muffin you will ever need. And they freeze well in a plastic freezer bag after cooling as well. Its always a safe bet to have bags of yummy muffins on hand. Good warm and buttered for breakfast; good for lunch with soup, or as a snack with milk or cup of tea. Thank you Sweet Kat’s Kitchen.

website logo with that 1950s feel

Makes 10 to 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, or walnut oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375º.  Prepare the pans by greasing 10 cups of a standard 2 3/4-inch muffin tin with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and zest.

In another bowl, combine the egg, butter or oil, milk, and orange juice with a large whisk.  Add to the dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened.  Using a large rubber spatula, add the cranberries and nuts to the batter, and fold in just until they are evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes.

fill the batter no more than 3/4ths full into the cups

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup 3/4ths full.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and the tops are dry and springy to the touch.  A cake tester will come out clean when inserted into the center.  Remove from the oven and serve warm with butter.  Freeze in plastic freezer bags up to 2 months. From the Williams-Sonoma Baking Book, Edited by Chuck Williams (Oxmoor House, 2009) and available only through Williams-Sonoma stores.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2009

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


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