Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Baking- Sparkling Cranberry Muffins

A dear friend made us a special collection of Christmas treats. In the box of goodies were the cutest mini-muffins. After eating one or two muffins our dear daughter exclaimed, "Mom, you have GOT to get this recipe!" So after returning home I promptly emailed my friend and asked for the recipe. She confessed it was a Williams Sonoma package mix, but if you have to go with a package, Williams Sonoma is a FAB pick.

But my curiosity was still piqued. I wanted to find a mini-muffin recipe I could make and use the cranberries I still had in the fridge. I found a great, kid-pleasing recipe in the Land O' Lakes Classic Cookies, Baking and More cookbook. These muffins were such a hit they barely had time to cool down before the kids and sweet hub ate most of them.

This cookbook was given to me by a fellow teacher as a wedding gift. Giving cookbooks is a great gift idea!

Sparkling Cranberry Muffins

The butter and sugar coating is what make these homemade muffins special.

1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup orange juice
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 cup sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl combine cranberries and 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside. In large bowl stir together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in orange juice and egg just until moistened. Fold in cranberry-sugar mixture. Spoon batter into greased 12-cup muffin pan (I used a mini-muffin pan). Bake 20-25 minutes (a bit less if using mini-muffin pan) or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Dip top of each muffin in 1/4 cup melted butter, then in 1/4 cup sugar. Serve warm.

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