Foodie Fridays: Orange-Cranberry Mini Muffins
Posted by Guest in Foodie Fridays
Mini muffins. They're fun, they're bite-size, and they're portion controlled... what's not to love here? I recently dug up this recipe to bring to work for a friend's birthday after remembering that she loved a similar version from one of the large coffee shop chains. The upside of doing them homemade vs. store-bought is you know exactly what's in them and exactly how fresh they are.

These little gems aren't overly-sweet. Instead they're light and citrusy with little bursts of tart cranberry, and a slightly crunchy, sugary perfection! You can certainly make them in a regular-sized muffin tin but I like them better as minis - not only because they're adorable, but also because their small size allows you to eat two or three of them instead of just one. Seems a little more decadent that way, don't you think?

Orange-Cranberry Muffins
(recipe modified slightly from Food Network)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
zest of one orange
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus some for topping the muffins
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup skim milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan, and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove berries from the heat, and set aside to cool and plump. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.

Line a 24-mini muffin tin (or regular size 12-muffin tin) with paper liners. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, orange zest, and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Fold the flour in 3 parts into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined. Fold in the cranberries until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes for minis and 25 minutes for regular-size muffins. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.

Yield: 12 regular-sized muffins or 24 mini-muffins

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