Cranberry Orange Muffins

Let me see, should I make Cranberry Muffins or Blueberry Bread, blueberry muffins or cranberry bread? I can’t decide…so I’ll make the bread for Christmas Eve and the muffins for Christmas morning. Mm, warm muffins bursting with juicy berries and drizzled with orange honey topping. These babies need to be eaten with a fork, which isn’t such a bad thing!

Cranberry Orange Muffins
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped or 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, whole
2 cups all- purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons salad oil
1 teaspoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine cranberries and sugar and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Sift dry ingredients together; add cranberry mixture and stir until berries are coated.

In a separate bowl mix egg, orange juice, salad oil and orange zest together; add to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Batter can be spooned into greased muffin cups (with cupcake papers, if desired), or into a 9 1/2″ X 5″ X 3′ loaf pan.

Bake muffins for 25 to 35 minutes at 375° and bread at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes. Prepare topping while muffins are baking (see below). Test for correct doneness using a toothpick. Remove from the oven and poke 3 holes in top of each muffin or about 8 holes into top of bread. Remove to cooling racks while still warm. Place waxed paper under cooling racks; gently pour topping over muffins arranging orange peel evenly across tops.

Topping: Combine 2 tablespoons orange juice, 2 teaspoon grated orange peel, and 2 tablespoons warmed honey; set aside.

Both muffins and bread freeze well. Yield: 12 muffins or about 12 slices from a loaf pan.

Recipe is the combined creativity of April Poirier, Auburn, WA and Cynthia Briggs, Houston, TX.

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