I’m convinced that one of the most important factors that makes a home more cozy and inviting than the smells that waft through each room. That’s why “scents” are a big business – candles, diffusers, air fresheners, potpourri, and probably lots of others things that make your car and home smell good. You know what’s the most guaranteed way to make your home smell incredible? Bake some of these amazing Cranberry Orange Muffins. They won’t hold a candle to any of the scent products available:). Seriously though, it will only take you 15 minutes to whip up the muffins and soon after you put them in the oven you will see what I mean. Citrus is one of my favorite scents in general and it works as a wonderful aromatic in cooking and baking too. Cranberries are plentiful this time of year and they go so well with the flavor of orange. The tart berries are a great addition to the tender muffins.
In Russian, this recipe would be called “palochka viruchalochka” (палочка выручалочка) or “magic wand”. It doesn’t really sound right in English, but basically it means that whenever you need something wonderful and fast, you wave your magic wand and “voila”, you have transformed your home into an inviting abode for all who enter. Don’t you just love those recipes? Whenever you want a special treat for your family or maybe you have expected guests arrive for a cup of tea, take out the muffin pan and start baking. The muffins are just heavenly when they are still warm. How about including this on your next brunch menu? You will be the hero of everyone who bites into this muffin.
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup (12 Tablespoons) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons for the cranberries)
1/4 cup orange juice
1-2 teaspoons orange zest
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cut the cranberries in half and toss with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar and set them aside. If you place the cranberries whole into the muffins, they will be very, very tart.
The mixture will look curdled at this point. Don’t panic. It will all work itself out as soon as you add the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix to combine, just until the flour is mostly incorporated. Do not over mix.
You can also use frozen cranberries instead of fresh. You don’t have to thaw the berries, but I would still halve them and toss with sugar. Instead of using fresh cranberries, you can also use dry cranberries. If cranberries aren’t available, you can also add some dark chocolate, chopped dry apricots or walnuts instead.
- 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup (12 Tablespoons) butter, softened
- 1¼ cups sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons for the cranberries)
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1-2 teaspoons orange zest
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners.
- Cut the cranberries in half and toss with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar and set them aside. If you place the cranberries whole into the muffins, they will be very, very tart.
- In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the orange juice, orange zest, eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times with a rubber spatula.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix to combine, just until the flour is mostly incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Add the cranberries to the batter and mix to combine with a spatula.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 min.