Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cranberry Orange Muffins

These muffins are my husband's favorite muffin. The funny thing is, he doesn't even like cranberries. I usually make cranberry relish at Thanksgiving and he does not touch it. I had half a bag of leftover cranberries after Thanksgiving so I decided to use up the cranberries by adding them to a muffin. When I started putting the ingredients together, I decided to also add orange, partly because the orange would tone down the tartness of the cranberries. I didn't think my husband would like them, so imagine my surprise when he devoured several. I like to make these on Sunday mornings. They are not a dense muffin, instead they are tender and light, almost cakelike.
The muffins freeze well. I usually freeze half of the batch, then all they need is a zap in the microwave to defrost and they are almost as tender and fresh as the day they were baked.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vanilla flavored yogurt (or regular yogurt)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 whole orange
cinnamon/sugar mixture (about 3 T)

Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a muffin pan with paper lined muffin cups. Lightly spray the top of the muffin pan with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
Grate the rind of the orange over the flour mixture and stir well to combine. Juice one-half of the orange and set aside.

In the bottom of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Add in the sour cream, yogurt and the fresh orange juice. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. Stir in the cranberries.

Dollop the dough into the prepared muffin pan. I use an ice cream scoop to equally portion out the dough, filling the muffin liners about 3/4 full. Sprinkle each muffin with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake at 400 for approximately 25 minutes (test for doneness with a toothpick). Cool about 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack. Makes 12 muffins.

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