16
Nov
08

Orange Cranberry Muffins

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There is something so heartwarming about baking your own muffins in the morning.  I just love how the whole house smells while these babies are cooking in the oven. 

These particular muffins are very easy to make.  They do not require any special equipment, nothing that needs to be plugged into an outlet.  You only need some bowls, a whisk and a spoon.  Can’t get much easier than that! 

The orange definitely gives a nice zing to these muffins and I am glad I tried them.  Now, if you are one of those people that love a very spongy muffin, this one might not be for you.  It’s a touch on the more crumbly side, just a touch.  Personally, I don’t mind that.   I also love a muffin to have a slightly crunchy top.  I find the crunch of the top combined with the softer interior is a lovely combination. 

I believe it is the healthy wheat germ that makes these muffins crumbly.  When you hear all the impressive health benefits of wheat germ you will feel happy these muffins include some.  Wheat germ is not a ‘germ’ (ha!) it is the kernel of wheat and is a rich source of protien, fiber, unsaturated fat, folic acid and most especially vitamin E.  Wheat germ also contains vitamin B complex which helps in coping with stress.  And we can ALL use some help with that these days! 

I make a cranberry butter to slather over these slightly crumbly muffins.  It really takes them over the top.  And the cranberry butter couldn’t be easier to make.  I’ve detailed how to make it at the end of this post.

Here’s the recipe for 12 muffins, adapted from Cooking Light…

1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup white flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp grated orange zest

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl, stir with a whisk.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.

Combine brown sugar, oil, zest, juice and eggs, stir with a whisk.  Pour egg mixture into the well in the dry mixture, stirring until just combined.  Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Cranberry Butter:

Combine 1/2 stick of room temperature butter with roughly 4 tablespoons of cranberry preserves.  Mix until well combined.  If you prefer the cranberry butter to have a more cranberry flavor, then feel free to add more preserves.  Alternatively, use less if you choose.  Enjoy!

 

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