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Cranberry Orange Muffins for the Three Bears

HerNameIsBuffy

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I want to preface this by saying I am kind of embarrassed that this is my third blog post here in a row and if other people don't start posting let my insecurity be on your heads.  :)

Also - I am well aware that I'm FJ's Jill Duggar of food photography.  I'm terrible ... snark away, judgey people.

I love cranberry-orange muffins and in company meetings I'd make sure they ordered one for me from Panera, but I prefer mine because they are slightly less sweet.

The three bears reference is because I always bake these in 3 sizes:  Jumbo, regular*, and mini muffins.

I have three kids and this is one of the few things they all love.  Sometimes they like the jumbo when grabbing one as a breakfast muffin on the way to work or school, we all love the regular, and mini-muffins are great when you want just a little bite without eating a whole one...because for me breaking into a whole muffin means I'll try to save for later but will finish it in short order so mini-muffins are perfect for those times you need a little taste of happiness without making a cupcake sized commitment.

*regular being typical cupcake tins.

This is my grandma's recipe.  I am sure she got it from Ocean Spray originally and tweaked it as it's similar.  This is for a double batch which will make a tray of each size (6 jumbo, 12 regular, and 24 mini.)  It is also good in loaf pans as cranberry bread, but muffins leave less crumbs on my counter.  Those of you who have neater families who wipe up their own counter crumbs may enjoy the bread, this recipe makes 2 loaf pans.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups orange juice
  • 4 tbsp melted butter (or Imperial margarine)
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries* halved or lightly pulsed once in food processor. 

(*I do not use nuts in this recipe.  If you prefer nuts then cut the cranberries to 3 cups and add one cup of pecans)

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Butter tins or line with cupcake liners...I'm a big fan of spray butter
  • Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.)
  • Mix together wet ingredients (OJ, butter, and eggs.)  Add melted butter to OJ before adding eggs so they don't scramble from the heat.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix together by hand until just combined. Like with all such muffins do not over mix or you will get a very tough end product.
  • Fold in cranberries until evenly dispersed throughout the batter, again don't over-mix.  You don't want them whole, but not minced - big chunks are best.  I use my food processor on all 4 cups at once and pulse it once.

Fill tins:

  • Regular - 1 ice cream scoop of batter per muffin.
  • Mini - 1 melon baller scoop per muffin
  • Jumbo - 1.5 - 1.75 ice cream scoops per muffin.
  • Loaves  - split the batter between 2 loaf

Bake:

  • Regular - 25 minutes
  • Mini - 15 minutes
  • Jumbo - 30-35 minutes
  • Loaves - 50 minutes

Done when tops are golden and butter knife comes out clean.

(posting now but will upload pics from phone shortly.)

 

 

 

 

 

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refugee

Posted

Oh golly, they sound good and look divine...

Maybe a new holiday breakfast tradition, to go with the Black Friday leftover pumpkin pie breakfast (which is my absolute favorite) and the New Year's Day stollen from the German store (every year we drive an hour round-trip to pick up treats there so we can fill shoes for St. Niklaus day, a tradition we adopted years ago).

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

2 minutes ago, refugee said:

Oh golly, they sound good and look divine...

Maybe a new holiday breakfast tradition, to go with the Black Friday leftover pumpkin pie breakfast (which is my absolute favorite) and the New Year's Day stollen from the German store (every year we drive an hour round-trip to pick up treats there so we can fill shoes for St. Niklaus day, a tradition we adopted years ago).

They freeze beautifully so they are a good make ahead thing.

We've never done the St. Niklaus Day tradition, but I love it.  Our German holiday tradition is herring on New Years.  Last year I forgot and went out and found a 24 hour grocery store at 11:00 pm so we had it!

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refugee

Posted (edited)

I have taken to buying herring at Costco. It's just like the herring I remember from my childhood--pickled with onion slices in wine sauce. My mom would put out bowls of it in two forms, the "plain" pickled and then a bowl where she mixed the herring and onions with sour cream. Divine on thinly sliced rye bread... And "smelly cheese" (what was called "aged Muenster" where I grew up, and is called "sharp Havarti" or Tilsit where we live now). There's a cartoon posted by the cheese counter at the German store, of a guy holding up a stinking sock and saying, "I don't know what it's called, but it smells something like this..." Yum. Smelly cheese. Not quite the same thing as Limburger because it has crunchy crystals that form in the cheese as it ages.

(ETA: I have a jar of Costco herring in the fridge now, as a matter of fact... Now I'm thinking it would make a good lunch, along with some Brie and hard-boiled eggs... LOL)

Edited by refugee

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

Just now, refugee said:

There's a cartoon posted by the cheese counter at the German store, of a guy holding up a stinking sock and saying, "I don't know what it's called, but it smells something like this..." Yum. Smelly cheese. Not quite the same thing as Limburger because it has crunchy crystals that form in the cheese as it ages.

That's too funny!  I don't like cheese as a rule, but I have family members who love it and I do like American muenster, which I know is very different from traditional German muenster - but it's the only cheese I can eat on a sandwich and makes a great grilled cheese.

We are definitely a herring in wine sauce with onion family.  They sell it here in cream sauce which I assume is sour cream, but the wine sauce (really just pickled in vinegar) is the taste of home and family to me.

I was a picky eater as a kid, yet I'd eat herring with a cup of eggnog on New Years ... which always made my mother crazy.  You'll eat THAT but this (insert totally normal thing most people eat) makes you cry?!  :) 

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refugee

Posted (edited)

My picky eaters love smelly cheese, and one of them likes the herring (both versions). They both grew up loving broccoli, which always astonished me because I barely tolerate the stuff. (I eat it because it's supposed to be healthy.)

I have been informed that this year I can dispense with the cute little chocolates wrapped in bright foil (shaped like all kinds of things: ladybugs, little cars and trucks, little Niklaus figures, bears, cats, etc.) and just buy each kidult a box of brandy chocolates. LOL! (I mean, we have kept doing the "shoes" even though they're not kids anymore, and some don't live with us but stop in to check out their shoes. I'm game as long as they are. :) )

Edited by refugee

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

9 minutes ago, refugee said:

They both grew up loving broccoli, which always astonished me because I barely tolerate the stuff. (I eat it because it's supposed to be healthy.)

I read somewhere that broccoli is one of those things that tastes very differently to different people, like cilantro.  I have always loved broccoli but to some it has a bitter/off putting taste.

And I'm with you on the shoes - well, stockings in my place.  As long as I'm around they will have  Christmas stockings, but a few years ago I got the requests to do away with the cute things no one eats and so now I just get them what they love and miss when they were little and all candy was exciting.

That reminds me, I need to pick up Advent calendars from the Polish deli when I go to get some perogies for thanksgiving today.  The chocolate is actually good in these.

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Cartmann99

Posted

@HerNameIsBuffy, can you please give the  baking time if we do this in loaf pans? Thank you!

Mr. Cartmann99 snagged me two big bags of cranberries at the wholesale club last week. One will be for cranberry-orange sauce for Thanksgiving, and the other will be for some holiday baking. :cupcake:

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

5 hours ago, Cartmann99 said:

@HerNameIsBuffy, can you please give the  baking time if we do this in loaf pans? Thank you!

Mr. Cartmann99 snagged me two big bags of cranberries at the wholesale club last week. One will be for cranberry-orange sauce for Thanksgiving, and the other will be for some holiday baking. :cupcake:

That would help, wouldn't it?  :)  50 minutes for loaf pans - I put both pans on middle rack.

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

Posted

I just bought a 2 pound bag of fresh cranberries yesterday, and it's all your fault!! :pb_lol: You just had to go and post a really tasty recipe. :pb_wink: I don't have room to bake right now! I squeezed the cranberries into our overcrowded freezer, but it was a tight fit. I guess it gives me an added incentive to get the kitchen back into shape so that I can try this recipe. So, thanks, I guess? :pb_biggrin:

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