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Steve's Home Made Cranberry-Orange Muffins








Good muffins make a great Sunday breakfast.  I searched for a cranberry-orange muffin recipe that was soft, moist, and sweet, just the way I like them.  I tried a number of variations, but in the end, I had to come up with my own version of a King Arthur Flour recipe.

I have a link to the King Arthur Flour website listed in the recipe below.  Their website is full of great baking tips and information.  If you bake, you MUST put Fiori di Sicilia in your baking recipes!  It's a wonderful combination of orange and vanilla flavoring.  It is in this recipe.

Don't be afraid of making these home made muffins!  These are super easy and fun to make.

Batter - Dry ingredients:

- 2 cups (8 7/8 ounces) of Swans Down cake flour - don't use all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

Batter - Wet ingredients

- 1 large egg

- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1% milk
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) orange juice - no pulp
- 1/2 cup orange juice for soaking the cranberries
- 1/8 teaspoon orange flavored oil or orange flavoring (the orange flavored oil is available from http://www.kingarthurflour.com)
- 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (from http://www.kingarthurflour.com)

- 1 Cup (4 1/4 ounces) of dried sweetened cranberries - coarsely chopped

Topping Ingredients:

- 1/4 cup (7/8 ounce) finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup  (1 3/4 ounces) dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
I put the pecans in a ziplock bag and smash them with a flat tenderizer.  I then put the brown sugar and cinamon in the bag to mix together


Instructions
:

- Pre heat oven to 400 degrees

- Coarse chop cranberries, and soak them in 1/2 cup of orange juice while you are preparing the rest of the recipe.

- In medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (all the dry ingredients).

- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vegetable oil, 1% milk, orange juice, orange flavoring, Fiori di Sicilia (all the wet ingredients).

- Drain the cranberries and them put them into the dry ingredient bowl to lightly coat.  Then slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry bowl, just mixing until combined.  Do not over mix.  The batter will be more of a cake batter consistency (thinner) than normal box muffin batter consistency (thicker), but that's ok.

- Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl.

- Spray muffing pan with Baking Pam, then fill muffin cups (I used a non-stick pan) 3/4 full with the batter, then sprinkle a scant teaspoon of the topping on top of the muffins.  Bake in the 400 degree oven for 14-16 minutes (my oven is at 15 minutes cooking time).  Yield is about 12 muffins, depending on how big your muffin cups are.

Enjoy,

Steve DiFranco