Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins

9 Dec

late.oct.nov2012 063

Early morning cranberry muffins? Don’t mind if I do.

When we were hosting Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago (already? Pfft. It isn’t 2-ish weeks until Christmas or anything … nope … ), I jumped on the cranberry train pretty quickly and without much hesitation. Cranberry sauce, cranberry bread, cranberry, well, everything, if my fall-flavored taste buds had anything to say about it.Inspired by Mom’s Cranberry Bread recipe, I concocted these Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins, pirating the BHG muffin recipe (as I often do) by adding that oh-so-seasonal trio of flavors.

While I’m currently in a bit of a “less white flour” kick (details, however few, coming in a future post), these muffins still totally hit the spot on a Saturday morning. Cup of coffee, newspaper (or, for those in the 21st century, their favorite newspaper’s web site), and one of these tart, nutty bad boys with some butter? Now that’s what I call breakfast.

late.oct.nov2012 064

Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins — makes 12 – 15 normal-sized muffins, or up to 24 mini-muffins. Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens’ Muffins Recipe.

You’ll need:

  • 1 3/4 cup white flour (optional: substitute up to 1/2 cup for wheat flour)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped (OR 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped)
  • Zest of 1 orange (grate with the second-smallest side of your cheese grater)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 400 ° F. Spray the cups of a muffin tin lightly with Pam, or line with 12 muffin liners; set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using your spoon / whisk, make a well in center of dry ingredient mixture.
It might help to make sure all ingredients are fully mixed by using a whisk or sifting the mixture. (Just to ensure you don't end up with little white lumps of baking powder. No, unsuspecting friends, those aren't mini-marshmallows ... )

It might help to make sure all ingredients are fully mixed by using a whisk or sifting the mixture. (Just to ensure you don’t end up with little white lumps of baking powder. No, unsuspecting friends, those aren’t mini-marshmallows … )

  • In another bowl combine egg, milk, OJ, orange zest and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. (Your batter should be lumpy — overmixed batter makes for bad-chewy muffins. Ugh.)
  • Gently fold cranberries and walnuts into batter. Spoon a hefty spoonful of batter into each cup, filling at least 2/3 full.
Le mixture des ingredients, pre-folding.

Le mixture des ingredients, pre-folding.

Psst: If you fill the cups almost entirely to the top, you'll end up with these muffin-top-on-roids muffins. It's worth a couple extra minutes of baking time.

Psst: If you fill the cups almost entirely to the top, you’ll end up with these muffin-top-on-roids muffins. It’s worth a couple extra minutes of baking time.

  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups (or bare-naked — eek! — if you didn’t line your tin) on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

What are your favorite varieties of muffins? Do you guys ever bake with natural ingredients, or do you stick to the classic all-purpose flour and white sugar? Cranberry junkies among you, I hope? Enjoy!

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10 Responses to “Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins”

  1. rosybubble December 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    These look nice, and really scrumptious!

    • galleykitchengal December 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Thank you! It’s hard to beat that cranberry-orange combo, and the walnuts add a nice crunch. Thanks so much for reading! 🙂

  2. Brittany December 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    These look GREAT! I love the color pop of the cranberry. Cranberry and orange were made for each other!

    • galleykitchengal December 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      Thank you! And seriously, they’re a match made in culinary heaven. That maroon-and-orange color combo doesn’t hurt, either!

  3. The Porto Bellas December 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    This feels like something I would make. I’m obsessed with muffins. Love the cranberry and orange combo too! YUM.
    -JulieC

    • galleykitchengal December 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

      Thanks, Julie! I kind of can’t stop eating muffins, either. What are your favorite recipes? (And thanks for reading!)

      • The Porto Bellas December 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

        My favorite recipe would be my moms banana bread (that can easily be baked as muffins). It’s similar to my “Cinnamon Apple Bread”, (http://theportobellas.com/2012/09/24/apple-cinnamon-bread/). Just remove the apples and add 3 frozen bananas! It’s a pretty ‘basic’ recipe, but man oh man, it’s to die for.
        -JulieC

      • galleykitchengal December 10, 2012 at 9:12 am #

        Oooooh, both recipes sound fabulous! I’ve been looking for a good apple bread recipe — I bought one of those big bags of apples at the grocery store, and need a delicious reason to cook them all before they go to that great big apple tree in the sky. Done! I’ll let you know how it turns out! 🙂

  4. Amy February 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Analise!!! Roooooooomie! So I was thinking that I wanted to bake something like this and thought “you know, I bet Analise has a great recipe for cranberry orange muffins,” and I was right! Very tasty m’dear. Miss you like WHOA. —-Amy

    • galleykitchengal February 23, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Rooooooomie! I’m so glad you liked them! 🙂 Can we have a muffin-baking date soon? Even if it’s just over skype. I’m all over that. 🙂

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