One of my favorite ways to show love, whether to friends, family or a special someone is through the kitchen. Whether it's a special dinner in, a favorite cookie - still warm out of the oven - or these muffins surreptitiously tucked into a work bag, ensuring a sweet surprise in the morning, it's the edible gifts that wins hearts - and stomachs.
Studded with cranberries and fragrant with orange, these muffins are the perfect way to start the sweetest day of the year. The 7-Minute Marmalade comes together in a flash, adding an extra dose of tart cranberry flavor while the orange sugar sprinkled on top adds the perfect touch of crunch. A fantastic, sweet surprise for whomever you're showering with love this year.
For Cranberry-Orange Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup plain whole-milk
2 1/2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries
zest of 1 orange
For Orange Sugar Topping
zest of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
For 7 Minute Marmalade
1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 18 standard muffin cups with liners.
To make the marmalade, bring 1 cup fresh cranberries, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon orange juice to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring and mashing the berries with a wooden spoon frequently. Cook about 7 minutes until the berries have broken down and mixture is thickened. Transfer to a small bowl and cool.
To make the muffins, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in large bowl. In a seperate bowl, whisk granulated sugar and eggs together until thick. Slowly whisk in melted butter, milk, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture and 2 cups fresh cranberries into the flour mixture until just moistened. Do not overmix, batter will be lumpy with few spots of dry flour.
Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle orange sugar topping evenly over muffins.
Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
(Images: Rebekah Peppler)