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Monday’s Muffin: Orange Cranberry Muffins

It feels like it has been forever since I have been baking in my kitchen and sharing recipes with you here. I’ve been trying to get back on track; get my groove back so to say. Fall is here and I have been consumed with lots of events and had very little time left for blogging.

Weeks ago, I had visions of peaceful days baking in the kitchen while my children returned to school, but the reality is that I have been trying to catch up on some projects set aside during the summer months and trying to stay on top of all the new school year paperwork and deadlines. Oh, and my son is a senior this year, so that always adds to the list of things to do and places to be: school convocation, senior photos, college counselor meetings, college visits and lots of paperwork.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to college, but I certainly don’t remember doing all the work back then that it requires now. I took the SAT once and applied to a couple of places…it’s way more complicated and strategic now. I’ve been trying to be helpful and nudge him on all the deadlines, but let’s face it, he’s a boy, so instead of offering gentle assistance I’m sure I will be dragging him through the process. Either way, we will get it done! So if you see a flurry of chocolate recipes appearing over the next few months, you will know that the stress level is high and I am coping the best way I know how!

But today I said “enough is enough!” This morning I spent a bit of time in the kitchen whipping up some muffins. After all, it is Monday. One of my favorite muffins is orange cranberry and I can’t believe I haven’t made any yet for my Monday’s Muffin series. The temperatures have dropped recently and this just seemed to be the perfect muffin to celebrate the arrival of fall around here. This recipe is adapted from foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 – 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard muffin pan or line with paper liners. In a small saucepan, add the dried cranberries and orange juice. Heat to simmer and then set aside while the cranberries absorb the juice. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest, eggs, buttermilk and orange juice until blended well. Drain the cranberries and then fold into the batter.  Divide batter among muffin cups and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until muffins tops bounce back to the touch. Makes 12 muffins.

Kitchenarian Notes: After I made these I thought they would be good with an orange glaze, so I whisked together a little confectioner’s sugar with some orange juice until I got the consistency I liked. It was a great sweet touch to this muffin.

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