Apparently the cranberry orange muffin thing has really really been done. Smitten Kitchen tells me so :) though the recipe there for cranberry orange breakfast buns looks pretty awesome. Actually I see the point on this one. I first noticed the cranberry orange thing in one of my favorite cookbooks, Sarabeth’s Bakery, and kind of thought to myself, “Oh I should try that when the cranberries come around.” But now that cranberry time is here I’ve seen several renditions of the combination.
But I really really wanted to bake something with cranberries anyway. It sounds kind of silly but they are just so pretty. I love that jewel tone red. Plus they add a nice pop to the flavor of baked goods, that tartness can just be so refreshing.
Working on the assumption that cranberries probably pair well with other fruit flavors other then orange I decided to give cranberry apple muffins a try. I was quite pleased with the results. The apple gives a mild background flavor that really allows the cranberries to shine. Plus a side benefit, these muffins really aren’t so bad for you at all. Using applesauce as the moisture in the recipe allows you to cut back on the fat and enhances the apple flavor.
So give these a try and get your cranberry carb fix and keep the waistline slim.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup apple sauce
- 2 tablespoons of butter softened
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 cup of fresh cranberries washed well
- 1 cup of apples pealed and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1. Preheat oven to 325* and prepare a muffin pan by greasing well. Set aside.
- 2. In the bowl of a large stand mixer, add the egg and beat until bubbles form. Add the applesauce, butter and sugar and cream together.
- 3. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix together well. Fold in cranberries and apples.
- 4. Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake at 325* for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes clean. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.
- You can play up or down the tartness of the cranberries as desired. To create a more tart flavor, use unsweetened applesauce, omit 1/4 cup of sugar, and use a milder apple such as a golden delicious. To downplay the tartness of the cranberries use sweetened applesauce, use the full amount of sugar, and before baking sprinkle an additional 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar over the tops of the muffins, dividing the sugar evenly between the muffins.
- To enhance the apple flavor use a stronger flavored apple like granny smith.