I hope this doesn’t startle you, but…. First Christmas Post Of The Year!!!!! Whoo!!!!…. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’d like to say that I was actually concerned that I may be jumping the gun (just a wee bit). I mean, I know that our American neighbours don’t even celebrate their Thanksgiving for another couple of weeks. And I wouldn’t want to (possibly) add to anyone’s holiday stresses. But if we waited until that was over… well that would leave me with just (I think) 4 weeks for Christmas recipes. If you’re anything like me, then I know you’ll agree, that’s just not enough time.
Growing up, Christmas mornings were very structured in my family. Once everyone was awake, we would open our stockings. Then we ate a full breakfast. And only when everyone was finished eating, would we assemble in the living room to distribute and open presents (in an orderly manner, from youngest to oldest)… For a child, those breakfasts seemed to take an eternity. If only someone had the foresight to just bake a batch of muffins the night before! Even better, muffins with tasty Christmas flavours, like these ones.
What I love most about these muffins (besides that they taste like Christmas morning 😀 ), is the contrasting sweet and tart flavours. Orange and cranberry were made for each other. Add in a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg, and we’re talking total flavour bliss!
Orange Cranberry Muffins
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Granulated Sugar
4 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Non-Dairy Unsweetened Milk (I used soy)
1/2 cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 cup Grapeseed or Canola Oil
1/2 cup Non-Dairy Yogurt (I used coconut)
1 tbsp Finely Grated Orange Zest
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Cranberries (fresh or frozen), coarsely chopped
3 tsp Coarse Sugar* (optional topping)
Preheat oven to 400°F and line muffin tin with paper liners.
Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
Combine the milk, orange juice, oil, yogurt, orange zest, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth.
Make a well in the centre of your flour mixture and pour in the liquid. Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together by hand (I like to use a rubber spatula for this). Stop mixing once there is no flour on the bottom of the bowl and no large pockets of flour remain. The batter will still be lumpy, do not overmix. Fold in the cranberries.
Evenly divide the batter between 12 muffin cups. The batter will exceed the height of the tin, this is ok. If using, sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of coarse sugar over each muffin.
Bake for 22 – 24 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Check early so to avoid overbaking.
Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Store in an air tight container for upto 5 days.
Makes 12 large muffins.
*Do not use granulated sugar for the topping, as it has a tendency to burn.