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BackstoryI am absolutely in love with cranberry orange muffins. I don’t eat them frequently, but I crave them often. I remember when I fell in love, like it was yesterday. I was a barista at Starbucks and hungry at work one morning. Thanks to that first muffin they quickly became my breakfast on a very regular basis. Unfortunately I had access to the nutritional information of everything that touched our pastry case and came off our bar, so the guilt quickly set in. But my cravings never subsided. Wanting to satiate my cravings without wrecking my waistline I found and tweaked a recipe from the Food Network. These muffins are easy and relatively healthy. And they don't even require fresh cranberries so you can enjoy them anytime of year. When you make these I highly recommend sprinkling the muffin tops with a bit of granulated sugar before baking. That crisp sugariness really is the icing on the cake so to speak.
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for topping muffins, if desired
- 2 large eggs, at room temp
- 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan, bring just to a simmer over med. heat. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool and plump.
- Line 12-muffin tin with paper liners or lightly brush with butter. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- In a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or with a hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream butter, orange zest, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
- Fold the flour in 3 parts into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined. Fold in the cranberries. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tins and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack.