Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cranberry Orange Muffins

I can't believe Christmas is just a few days away already! We're still adjusting at home to the new, increased demands on my father-in-law's care these last few days, but he's actually made a bit of progress today in that he can use his walker to pull himself out of bed and make it to the toilet by himself. That's a big relief. Even though he is still very weak, and we need to watch over him carefully, this little piece of progress is promising.

I also made major progress with my Christmas shopping this weekend. In fact, I'm nearly finished! I just need two gifts and a trip to the bank for some cash that I'm giving to a few of the teenage relatives we give gifts to. Nothing like an impeding snowstorm and the notion of being housebound watching over my father-in-law this coming week to get me into action with the shopping! As for the snow, it's very pretty. Even after spending nearly two hours shoveling the stuff this morning, I still love it. :)

I made these muffins the other day per my daughters' requests. Actually they wanted any kind of muffins. My tween was chanting something about chocolate chips, but beggars can't be choosers, so they got these.

Once my teenager took her first bit, she responded with a "Mmmmm," then said, "Oh my, these are so heavenly, you have no idea."

I said, "Actually, I do have an idea. I just ate one."

She said, "No, you have no idea, because you made them. They taste so much more heavenly when someone else makes them for you."

Awww, does she know the way to warm a mother's heart or what?

I asked the tween if she thought they were good, too. She nodded her head yes. So expressive. ;)

I usually make this recipe using a loaf pan, but muffins pack better in a school lunch, so the muffins won this time. The batter will fill 12 muffin cups to the brim.

Cranberry Orange Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1 large egg
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, optional

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until thoroughly combined.

Cut butter into small chunks and add to flour mixture.

Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in butter into flour mixture until the flour mixture is the texture of a coarse meal.

"Resembles coarse meal" looks like this:

My microplane zester is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. I most often use it to zest citrus fruit and to grate fresh ginger and nutmeg for various recipes.

I actually used two Clementines to get the 1 tablespoon of zest simply because that was the type of orange I had on hand. We peeled and snacked on the fruit after I had the zest I needed.

Add the egg, orange juice and orange zest to the dry ingredients.

Stir until just combined.
This is a photo of almost just combined:

This is just combined. Stop stirring as soon as it looks like this. It's okay if you still see a little bit of the flour here and there, as long as most of it is just blended in.

Coarsely chop the cranberries on a cutting board, working with a handful of berries at a time until you have 1 1/2 cups chopped cranberries. I used a little less than an 8oz. bag of fresh cranberries.

Add the cranberries to the batter.

Gently fold the cranberries into the batter.

Spoon batter into 12 cups of a muffin tin and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if desired.

Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned on edges and a wooden pick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.

Enjoy! :)

Note: To make a loaf instead of muffins, pour batter into a lightly greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until it a wooden pick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.


  1. "They taste so much more heavenly when someone else makes them for you."

    That is sooooo true. No matter how many times I'll bake or cook something, if my mom makes is, it tastes so much better.

    Thanks for the recipe, Christine! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas :)

  2. those look fab! I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately and experimenting with different recipes is so fun. I bet those muffins got gobbled up quickly. :)

  3. How yummy! I'm so glad you're sharing recipes with us :)

    Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that your FIL perks back up to baseline.

  4. Okay, I'm printing this recipe, lol! I MUST tell you here that I baked your Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (some w/Cranberries also) for the kids during the Thanksgiving holidays. The kids (& adults) loved them! I'm still getting requests from the kids to make more, lol!

    I was planning on taking a batch for Xmas, but now I'll include some of these too. Thanks Christine!

    So glad to hear your FIL is doing better. :)

  5. Great recipe!! I love that you do them and take pictures!!

    I hope your FIL will regain his strength!

  6. They taste so much more heavenly when someone else makes them for you.

    Exactly! Thank you Christine. These look yummy!

    And I'm glad to hear that your FIL is improving and that even with all the snow you manged to get most of your Xmas shopping done. I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!

  7. I wish someone would make muffins for me, but I'm the muffin maker around here. *G* These sound delicious!
    Glad to hear your FIL is improving, though slight. I send good thoughts for him!

    Have a fantastic night!

  8. I'm catching up on your blog ATM, and YUM! I am definitely going to make these for the office this weekend. They look great. :)


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