December 29, 2013

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Our house has become a battlefield. The tides have turned, and we are winning! A week ago we discovered a squirrel in here, behind our computer! Well, technically Bracken discovered it, we just noticed how excited she was about the computer... We let her chase him out the back door. Another one appeared in our living room, downstairs, a few days ago, and we decided they must be getting in through the chimney, which is NOT covered! We chased him back out through the fireplace. Today, Bracken discovered a squirrel downstairs again!! Was it the same squirrel? I'm not sure, but the Geologist is convinced it was. We tried to chase it up the stairs and out this time, but after two unsuccessful encounters with her nemesis, Bracken was ready for it... and promptly dispatched the intruder. That was unexpected. She was very professional though, and is now very proud of herself. And I have fully closed the fireplace doors and sealed them, until we can get our chimney covered. I like squirrels in trees, not in my house or on my birdfeeders. But we apparently have a secret weapon: Bracken the Squirrel Terminator!
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Printable Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 cup sugar
1 Tb freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup full-fat or 2% Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1 cup fresh/frozen cranberries (or 3/4 cup dried)

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tb fresh squeezed orange juice
a pinch of salt

Preheat your oven 350 degrees. Grease/line a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Rub orange zest into the sugar in another bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla, orange extract, and orange sugar together until smooth and thick.  Slowly whisk the butter into the mixture until combined. Add the sour cream and whisk till just combined.

Fold the dry ingredients into the sour cream mixture until just combined. Fold the cranberries in until evenly distributed. Do not overmix!

Divide the batter (it will be pretty stiff!) between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, until barely golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before glazing.

Whisk the glaze ingredients together until smooth, and drizzle over cooled muffins. Let set before serving.
After a moment of silence for a valiant foe, onward, to muffins!! I used fresh cranberries for these muffins, but they are pretty tart, borderline sour, so they can absolutely be made with dried cranberries if you prefer. They'll be yummy either way!
I wanted a muffin with a dense, moist crumb, lots of orange flavor but not too sweet so the splash of sweetness in the glaze doesn't turn it into a cupcake. Mission Accomplished!
Orangey-tart cranberry-sweet muffin goodness. A classic, pretty enough for a special occasion, easy and scrumptious enough for everyday!


  1. The Squirrminator! The Vermin Vigilante! The BRodent BRevenger!

  2. LOL at your mom! Now I know where you get your spunk from! LOL
    Poor Squirrel, but you can't have them in the house. One got caught in the Gym at the big house when I worked there. We found it dead by a window where it had starved to death, trying to gnaw it's way out. Poor sad thing.

    On the other hand those muffins are calling my name!! Scrumdiddlyumptious! xxoo


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