Cranberry-Orange Muffins

January 4, 2010 | By andrea | Filed in: Baking, Breakfast, Christmas, Holidays, Muffins.

cranberry-orange-muffinLooking for a way to use up some fresh cranberries that didn’t get put to use during the holidays? These orange-scented muffins are delicious, moist and not too sweet.

Since I didn’t have buttermilk, I substituted a mixture of 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup 2% milk. I made 6 muffins as is, then added chocolate chips to the rest of the batter. Both versions were great. Because of the added chocolate chips, I ended up with a total of 14 muffins instead of 12. The Wilton Sparkling Sugar I sprinkled on top of the muffins adds a pretty finishing touch.

Cranberry-Orange Muffins
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

Orange zest brings a sweet complement to the tart fresh cranberries crowding this muffin. Yields 12 muffins.

1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries, picked through and rinsed
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pan
2 oz. (1/2 cup) cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. table salt
5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature; more for the pan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest (using a rasp-style zester, this is the zest of 1 small orange)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. turbinado sugar (such as Sugar In The Raw)

Position a rack near the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin, including the top rim, and dust the pan with flour. Tap out any excess.

Using a food processor, coarsely chop the cranberries.

In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 min. Scrape the bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing for at least 30 seconds at medium speed and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, briefly beat in one-third of the flour mixture, then add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk; when combined, mix in another one-third of the flour; then mix in the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk and the orange juice, and finally mix in the rest of the flour. Scrape the bowl and beat the batter just until smooth, another 10 seconds. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, fold the cranberries into the batter.

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin tin (each cup will be quite full). Sprinkle the tops of the muffins generously with the turbinado sugar.

Bake until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted an inch into the top of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 min. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 min. and then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. These muffins are best eaten the day they’re made.

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