Did you know that New Jersey is one of the top producers of cranberries in the United States? I only recently discovered this fact. Since this time of year is THE time to get fresh cranberries, I couldn't resist when I first saw them available. The next thing I had to do was figure out what to make. You see, growing up, I really don't recall ever eating fresh cranberries in anything. That doesn't mean they weren't served, I probably just thought they looked funny or something and wouldn't eat them. Yep, as a kid, I was not the adventurous eater I am today. Thank goodness my tastes have evolved and I've learned that it's better to try something new so that I won't be missing out on something truly wonderful.
I did a quick search to see what recipes I could find that used fresh cranberries. I didn't want to try to sub them in a recipe that called for dried. When I found a recipe for Fresh Cranberry Muffins on Cooking Light, I knew that was the one for me. I love a nice muffin for breakfast in the morning, and of course, My Oldest will eat one for breakfast and snack at school each and every day.
These muffins were quick and easy to make and were in the oven baking in a matter of 10 minutes. The orange zest was the most pronounced scent when I pulled them from the oven. The flavor combination of the cranberries with the orange zest really blended into something that was very irresistable. They would even be wonderful warmed up in the morning with a bit of orange marmelade or a dab of butter melting into these mouth-watering muffins.
If you have some fresh cranberries that you need to use, why not try one of these recipes?
The Low-Fat Cranberry Scones at Fun and Food look like a perfect treat to go with your afternoon tea.
Andrea's Recipes shares a Maple Cranberry Butter that her boys could hardly resist while she was making it. If you've got biscuits or toast that needs something to make it a little more special, this butter might just be what you are looking for!
Fresh Cranberry Muffins
Source: Cooking Light (for a printable version of this recipe, click HERE)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, melted
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in cranberries; make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, butter, rind, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.
Note: These muffins freeze well. Bake them ahead, cool completely, and store in freezer bags. To serve, thaw at room temperature. Reheat in aluminum foil at 300º for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.