One of the best parts of the holiday season is the resurgence of all of my favorite foods, and as with anything holiday related, these foods are popping up earlier and earlier. Granted, cranberries are eaten year round, but the bags-piled-on-bags of fresh cranberries in the produce department really mark the beginning of the season. So, to properly jump-start the holidays, how about a nice muffin?
Cranberry-White Chocolate Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 (3.5-4 oz) bar of good quality white chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
6 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.; line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, orange peel, and salt. Stir in the white chocolate and the cranberries. In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg, butter or coconut oil and vanilla. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, stirring until just mixed, being careful to not over beat. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the muffin tops.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on a wire rack.
I've been saving a bar of white chocolate to pair up with something good and cranberries seem to be the perfect accompaniment...sweet and smooth with tart and tangy.
I'll admit I used the dried orange peel this time. This stuff from Penzey's is terrific.
Whisk all the dry ingredients first--you don't want to over-mix once you add the liquid.
A little sprinkle of sugar on top is a nice touch, no?
I love that the cranberries pop and give the muffin so much color.
How are you kicking off the holiday season?