Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry MuffinsI’m not much on cranberry muffins.  But my other half enjoys cranberries quite a bit.  And it’s nearly Thanksgiving.  Cranberries readily scream Thanksgiving.  So this makes some sense then.  My mother used to make cranberry muffins just like these and everyone but me would fight over them as soon as they came out of the oven.  I mean like fisticuffs at the table.  My brother and my father would elbow their way to the basket, argue over how many each had eaten, my mother would sit, have one or two and referee, and I’d have one and pick around the damn cranberries and everyone would look at me like I was adopted.  Oh well.

I have a bag of cranberries loafing around the fridge, I certainly won’t eat them, so why not muffins.  Someone’s got to be happy eating the damn things, and it’s not going to be me.  Why not indeed.  If you’re so inclined to follow along, start with one stick of butter, and you’d better soften that a bit then.  I know it’s supposed to be a big no-no to really soften butter in the microwave and have some of it melt a bit.  It doesn’t cream as well, blah blah blah.   I did and these came out really good-looking and smelling.  And the boyfriend ate 3 in one sitting.  After dinner.  It doesn’t matter unless you’re Jacques Pépin.  He seems like a really sweet old man – so even he may not care.  Do as you see fit.  Perhaps I’m just a malcontent.

Cranberry MuffinsCream that partially melted softened butter and one cup of sugar in the mixer.  Add two eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla, and mix well.  A note on mixing….and eggs….and vanilla.  My mother always told me to crack eggs over something else then add them to a recipe.  And never ever measure the vanilla (or anything really) over a mixture, because if you drop an eggshell in, or goof with the vanilla, you’ll be in trouble.  Good advice.  I listen on the eggs, but I don’t follow it with vanilla, because I like to live dangerously.  I also like vanilla….a lot.  So no biggie if I overdo it.  I only mention this because I had The Great Vanilla Spill of 2011 this evening.  Not the end of the world really, but it was a bit of mess to set right.  Sorry mom.

Cranberry MuffinsCranberry MuffinsAt this point all the wet stuff should be well mixed.  In another bowl mix 2 cups AP flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Fold one cup of sour cream into the wet mixture.  Then add the dry mixture to the wet and incorporate until just mixed.  Fold in one cup of chopped cranberries and you’re done.  This recipe makes enough for a full tray of muffins.  This is not a sloppy loose batter.  It’s fairly stiff and you’ll need at least a spoon and a finger you’re willing to sacrifice to the cause.  That or another spoon.  I grease a pan and fill them almost all the way to the top.  Then I liberally sprinkle sugar over the top.  Don’t be stingy, the cranberries are tart and people won’t be friends with you if you’re stingy on the sugar.

Cranberry MuffinsThey need to go in an oven that’s been preheated to 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, as always a toothpick inserted should come out cleanly.  They will be brown on the top and they will fill your house with a lovely smell.  I imagine these go over very well in a Thanksgiving type meal, or as a late night snack, such as I prepared here (three got eaten right off the bat – so they can’t have been too bad.)  I imagine this because I won’t put them in my mouth.  Not even close.  I’m sure I should try them again.  Hundreds of things I’ve never like before all of a sudden taste great – mainly because I don’t smoke anymore.  I’m still suspect of cranberries.  Sorry.  More for everyone else then.

Cranberry MuffinsHere’s what you’ll need….

  • 1/2 Cup or 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Roughly Chopped Cranberries
  • Enough Sugar to Sprinkle Over the Top
  • Love

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