After my last batch of blueberry muffins, all i could think about was baking muffins again! (Just in case it was a fluke the first time..haha) I don’t think I’ve felt this excited about a recipe, since CI’s CCC, which I’m still in the process of tweaking. This time, I decided to go with cranberries and orange. After repeatedly telling Audrey I would make her Cranberry Orange bread for months and not doing it was a little embarassing! Rather than baking a loaf, I decided to go with the cranberry orange combination in a muffin form. The only changes I made to the original recipe was add 2 tablespoons (1/4 cup for full recipe) of sugar and 1 tablespoon (2 tablespoons for full recipe) of sugar to the cranberry sauce because cranberries are more sour than blueberries. Last time, I baked at 375 because I was afraid of over drying, since I halved the recipe and made them smaller. This time, I decided to bake at 400F to see if I could get a better rise. After 10 minutes, I lowered the temperature back down to 350 because I had a feeling they would dry out. I think I’m going to have to make a full recipe (which shouldn’t be a problem!) so I can bake at 400 and get higher tops without worrying about overdoneness.
Other than the texture, another reason I absolutely love these muffins is their ability to stay fresh for a longer period of time. The next day, the muffins were still moist (although not as much as the first day) and not crumbly at all! Isn’t it weird that something that has less fat than a yellow cake and uses all purpose flour manages to stay moist yet my Billy Billy vanilla cupcakes do a 180 on me and transform from 'cake mix' like texture to crumbly a few hours later?
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Original recipe from food according to me
2 cups fresh cranberries, quartered
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 12 ½ ounces
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 ounces white sugar (I just used 1 1/4 cup) + 2 tablespoons (for cooking the sauce
3 large whole eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used 1 tbsp vinegar and added milk until it reached one cup)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp turbinado sugar
zest of one orange
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position to heat oven to 400ºF. (I used 375)Prepare muffin tins.
2. Bring 1 cup fresh cranberries to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently and pressing cranberries against the side of the pot, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened, about five minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in the large bowl. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, orange zest together until pale and fluffy. Slowly whisk in melted butter and oil. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining one cup cranberries.
6. Gently fold in flour mixture until just moistened. Batter will be very lumpy.
7. Using a large spoon, divide half of the batter equally among the 12 muffin cups (about a third filled.) Place a heaping teaspoon of berry mixture on top of batter. Scoop remaining batter on top of berry filling. Using a bamboo skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter.
8. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top of the muffins.
9. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes. (I took them out when a toothpick inserted had like 2 mini crumbs attached - almost perfectly clean, but not with huge crumbs attached either). Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool for five minutes more before serving.