Monday, December 22, 2014

Spiced Cranberry Orange Muffins

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This Christmas has been such a busy one so far! One of the busiest ever, I think. But then again, I probably say that every year! It is nice to be busy and have a lot of things to do. I just wish I had a few more hours in the day so I could get some sleep!

Well, enough of the 'if only's and on to these muffins. Cranberries, spice snd citrus zest. These muffins are just so Christmassy! I think they'd be a perfect addition to the Christmas breakfast or brunch table. My little girl insisted they we use colored sanding sugar but feel free to use plain old regular granulated sugar. 
I used frozen cranberries to make these, and the tartness of the cranberries, the sweetness of the batter and the flavor and aroma of the citrus and spice are just awesome together!

Fresh Cranberry Orange Muffins 
Adapted from this recipe on
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt  
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
A dash of freshly grated nutmeg 
1/4 tsp dried ginger powder 
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 large egg 
Zest of one orange 
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 
1/4 cup venerable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin by lining each cup with a paper liner. 
2. In a large bowl, combine all the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir well to combine. 
3. Add the frozen/fresh cranberries into the flour mixture and toss well to coat the berries. If any of the berries are extra-big, you could halve them before adding them in. 
4. In a smaller bowl, combine the egg, orange zest, orange juice and the oil. Whisk together. 
5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Don't over-mix, or you'll be left with tough muffins. 
6. Spoon the muffin batter into the 12 cup muffin tray, dividing the batter evenly.
7. Sprinkle the tops of the muffin with some sugar. 
8. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the tops of the muffins spring back when touched and they just start to brown. 
While at first I thought these muffins are a little too sweet, it just balanced well since the unsweetened fresh/frozen cranberries are so tart. The texture is lovely, and the crunch of the sugar top is very nice!

Oh and I must mention that they smell lovely while baking! Definitely a recipe that I would recommend.

Here's wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful day with lots of love, laughter, music, good and presents! But most of all - I hope you get a chance to reflect on what Christmas really means.

Isaiah 9:6 - For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
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