Monday, January 16, 2012

Orange cranberry muffins

1 cup dried (sweetened) cranberries
1/2 cup fresh orange juice

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest (the zest of one whole orange)
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract (optional, but good)
2 Tablespoons oil (vegetable, canola or olive)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line a muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners.
Zest one whole orange (making about 1 Tablespoon of zest) and set aside. Squeeze the juice from that one orange (about 1/2 cup).  Put the orange juice (if needed, add some prepared orange juice to the fresh juice to make 1/2 cup) and the cranberries in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring as needed.  Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, orange zest and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Scrape down the side of the bowl, then add in the eggs (one at a time), vanilla, orange extract, and oil.  Blend until well combined.
Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk (add about half of the flour mixture, then some milk,then the rest of the flour, and the rest of the milk).  Fold in the cranberries.  Do not over mix. Scoop batter into prepared muffin/cupcake pan. Bake muffins about 20 minutes (test with a toothpick, there should be moist crumbs, but not wet). Cool muffins on a wire cooling rack. 
Enjoy the muffins while still warm, or when cool.  They are best the day they are made, but are still very good the next day.
Yields about 8 large or 12 medium (standard) muffins.

Recipe adopted from Glorious treats

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