I'm talking about Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. And we've got to have a serious conversation about this stuff.
Now, you Americans haven't gone through your harvest feast, so you don't have to worry about it yet. But you will. Cranberry sauce always seems to be the last to leave your fridge. Even three weeks after our own Thanksgiving celebration, it's still sitting there. Mocking me.
We don't buy the canned stuff - I'm really not into eating something that naturally takes on a gelatinous cylindrical shape. At our house, we cook down field cranberries with some orange juice and zest. The sugar is kept at a minimum so that the fresh tartness can really shine. Throwing out the extra would be sacrilegious. We had to bake it into something that really allowed the sauce shine. Something that didn't involve mashed potatoes and poultry.
These muffins are light and fluffy, kissed with orange zest. Brown sugar is sprinkled on top and baked on to provide some sweetness to balance out the tartness. Inside lays our little friend, cranberry sauce. And, let me tell you, our friend would much rather be inside a muffin than on the bottom of your garbage pail with your potato and carrot peelings.
Orange Cranberry Sauce Muffins
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes about 9 muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
The zest of one medium orange (just over one tablespoon)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup milk
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Leftover cranberry sauce
Brown sugar for topping
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, sift and whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, and zest. Set aside.
2) In a large measuring cup, or small bowl, whisk together your oil, egg, milk, juice, and vanilla so that there's no lumpy egg bits left in it. Pour into your dry ingredients and, with a wooden spoon, slowly fold to combine.
3) Scoop two tablespoons into your muffin liner, then plop a tablespoon of cranberry sauce on top. Cover the sauce with another tablespoon of batter. Repeat until all your batter is gone. Sprinkle a good amount of brown sugar on top of each muffin, then bake for about 15 to 17 minutes, or until they are golden and your cake tester comes out clean. Enjoy warm :)