Thursday, March 24, 2005

Cranberry Zinger Muffins Recipe


Today is the 13th edition of Is My Blog Burning hosted by Maki of I Was Just Really Very Hungry. Check out her site for a complete listing of participants.

Baking muffins is a great way to start the day. The smell and warmth fills the house and the muffins themselves lure any sleepyheads out of bed. Leftover muffins make for a good breakfast-on-the-run during the week. Somehow a muffin just seems more special than a slice of coffee cake.

I'm always looking to develop that perfect recipe that uses things I happen to have on hand. So in general I avoid recipes with buttermilk and heavy cream. In the interest of health, I also prefer not to use too much butter or too many eggs, if I can. Experimenting with baking is tricky. I made this recipe several times before I got it right. But now it's a keeper!

It's Spring and I am craving mouth-watering tangy flavors. I find most muffins are too sweet for breakfast. This muffin recipe combines lots of tangy flavors that I love, especially lemon but also orange, cranberries and ginger. You can leave out the ginger if it's too zingy for you or your family.

Note: Remember when all muffin recipes called for filling the tin only 2/3 of the way up? Now we love our muffins oversized but it can be a challenge to get them out the pan whole. Wait for them to cool (I know it's hard!) and if you twist them in the pan, they will loosen and lift out easily. Don't forget to spray the top to the muffin pan! (thanks Tanvi for that tip)

Cranberry Zinger Muffins
12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened but not melted
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Rind of one lemon grated
Rind of one orange, gated
3/4 cup citrus juice (combined juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange)
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (I used them straight out the freezer)
2 Tablespoon sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. Coat a 12-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Using a hand mixer or pastry cutter, cream the sugar and butter until smooth, mix in the egg. Add the orange juice and ginger, lemon, and orange peel and stir to combine. Mix the flour and cranberries into the batter just until combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan. Sprinkle each with sugar.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes our until the muffins are lightly browned, puff up, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the tin set on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin and eat them warm or let them cool completely on wire rack.

Enjoy!