Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cranberry orange muffins

Addie is a big Disney fan these days. Everything she owns is Disney or princess-themed. We have princess cups, utensils, a floor mat, toothpaste, pillow, stuffed Disney characters and just about everything under the sun. I really need to invest in some Disney stock, come to think of it...

We were eating dinner one day, and my husband and I added some sweetened dried cranberries to our spinach salad. Addie was looking at the packaging and noticed that Mickey Mouse was on the front. Naturally, she asked what Mickey was doing on there, and it looked like he was promoting some Disney-inspired recipes that were on the back of the package. We turned it over and saw some muffins above the nutritional information.

Next thing I knew, Addie was asking me to bake these muffins, which we nicknamed "Mickey muffins." She asked me about them every day until I finally made them. When I offered her a muffin to try, she snarfed it down in about 3 bites. And every day after that, she asked for a Mickey muffin to eat with her meal.

One criticism that I had for these muffins were that they were a bit too crumbly. The muffins produce a small, flaky crumb that will get all over your floor (this is definitely speaking from experience).  I tend to like my muffins a bit more cake-like with a studier base, so these were just OK from my perspective. The flavors were good, but I would personally add more liquid/Greek yogurt into the batter if I were to make it again. But, since these muffins were Addie-approved, it was worth baking.

Cranberry orange muffins
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBSP sifted cake flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries 
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease or line a standard muffin tin (you will need 2) with paper liners, or use a silicone muffin pan like I did. 

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and lemon extract on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add 3 tablespoons of the flour mixture with the last egg. (The mixture may appear curdled, but that is OK) Continue mixing for 3 to 4 minutes, or until creamy.

Turn the mixer to low and gently add in the remaining flour mixture, orange zest, and cranberries, mixing until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

Evenly distribute the batter among the 15 muffin wells and fill them 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Muffins should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container and will keep for several days. They can also be frozen and reheated.

Yield: 15 muffins 

Source: Craisins.com

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