Cranberry Orange Muffins

It’s finals week here, so our brains deserve a good breakfast. And a good afternoon snack. And a good dessert.

Fortunately, this recipe fulfills of all those needs. Not too much sugar, a nice bite of cranberry, and the smell of orange zest on your hands all day long.

Actually, let’s be honest. I only have one more final, and it’s not the kind to fret over. Thus, I plan on spending my days using up my stockpile of butter and flour. So, really, this recipe fulfills that need.

I juiced fresh oranges, which is way time consuming since I don’t have a citrus juicer. (Mom, dad, I know you’re already buying me a fruit-related Christmas gift, but if you need more ideas…)

I used a combination of walnuts and almonds. Also, the three oranges I juiced still didn’t render enough orange juice, so I added a bit of milk, as well.

I plan to individually wrap and freeze most of them before they all find a way into my stomach by tomorrow.

Cranberry Orange Muffins:
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 cup sugar (set aside one tablespoon for topping)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees. (Lower to 400 right before placing the muffins in the oven.)
2) Combine orange rind, orange juice, canolia oil and egg in a bowl. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir until just combine.
3) Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
4) Coat muffin tin with oil and pour in batter. (I filled the cups to the very top to make 12 big muffins.) Sprinkle sugar on top. Lower oven heat to 400 degrees. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until the muffin top springs back when touched.
5) Run a knife around outer edge of each muffin cup. Carefully remove each muffin.

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