Kitchen Adventure: Muffin Munchies

I can always tell which recipes I’ve tried in my cookbook because those are the pages that are slightly stuck together with sugar and such from recipes of the past.  My Grandma’s cookbooks are also a testament to this idea – you can see where people have pawed through them with a chocolatey finger after losing their place making brownies.

My latest baking endeavor: muffins to enjoy and especially to freeze.  I love muffins for breakfast, especially before the gym.  My mom makes really good morning glory muffins, but I wanted to go for something a little simpler so I whipped up these cranberry-orange muffins with Betty Crocker’s recipe.*

Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated orange peel, with a little orange juice for good measure
1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare muffin cups.
  2. Mix together milk, oil, and egg – beat until mixed well.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients minus the cranberries. If you prefer, you can prepare the dry ingredients separately first to ensure they all get mixed in equally (see photo).  Mix just until moist (batter will still be lumpy).
  4. Now fold in those cranberries.  [Fold = Add them and mix them in, but try not to stir more than absolutely necessary.]
  5. Spoon into muffin cups, filling each to about 2/3.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, trying not to overbake.  I made mini and normal sized muffins, so this varied, but it should be about 20 minutes for normal muffins and half that for the petite version.
  7. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
  8. Enjoy!  Freeze the same day, if you’re freezing them.

I made a double batch of what you see above because I wanted to freeze a bunch, so I fudged a few things.  Specifically, I added the zest from one orange without really caring what that came to, and I also added about half the amount of cranberries recommended because it looked like an overwhelming amount.  The cranberries and orange zest were the inspiration for this recipe since it gave me a chance to use both of my new kitchen tools – my new knife and my awesome zester/micrograter.  I have never used anything that worked as perfectly as that zester – now I find myself looking around more thing things that need zesting!  As it was, it was good that I stopped where I did because these muffins were delish with just this amount of fruity influence.

I froze many of these treats and they are SO good reheated in the morning, especially with a little dab of the homemade peach jam we got from Sara.  (Hi Sara!)  I’ll definitely make these again, and maybe try even more variations on the theme.

* I can’t find the exact recipe online for a direct citation, but it’s from this cookbook, with some of my own variations included in the recipe above.

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