Cranberry Crumb Muffins


So, these were supposed to be those blueberry muffins that came in out in the NYTimes last week – that new recipe with the smashed blueberries in it. Only when I went to the freezer to get the blueberries, I forgot himself had been making smoothies and….yeah, you see where this is going. But, because my poor long-suffering husband is awesome, he said, “what about cranberries? You have those.” Indeed. And they’re nice and tangy, to boot!

So a little tweak here and there, add some crumb topping and serve with some marmelade! Yum!!

That is kumquat marmelade, from my friend K’s tree, btw. Never made it before – turned out a bit thin, but yummy! (The interwebs tell me I overcooked it a bit and so killed some the pectin from the seeds. Sigh.) I’d never seen kumquats like those, turns out they are a hybrid with a mandarin orange and are called Fukushu. Those little fruits were so pretty, too. The peel itself was sweet. Amazeballs.

Well – lets bake! These cook under half an hour, and are gorgeous and slightly sweet. If you have some marmelade, it takes it to a whole new level.

Cranberry Crumb Muffins (yield 12-ish)

Preheat oven to 375. Line twelve muffin cups.

For the crumb topping:

1 stick unsalted butter
¾ c. sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ c. AP flour
1 Tbsp corn starch
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the rest of the ingredients until it’s crumbly. Set aside.

For the muffins:
In the mixer on low until it looks like fine crumbs.
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 ¼ c. sugar
2 c. AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp salt

Add in, and then mix on medium high for a minute or two until thick and fluffy.
2 eggs
½ c. buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir in:
2 c. fresh cranberries (not sweetened dried!).

Spoon in to lined muffin cups, top with the crumb mix and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and a tester comes out clean.

These are so yummy – lots of good feedback (nyuk!) from the neighbors.

Cranberry Walnut Spice Scones

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Oh, it’s been a while my lovelies. I don’t think I’ve made scones in a year.
Mainly it’s Himself’s sugar restrictions, that plus reining myself in. But Fall is coming. Pumpkin spice lattes are saturating the atmosphere. Made some pumpkin bread last week for our respective offices, but then my contrary nature just refused to make a pumpkin scone.
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But, honestly, what is it about pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread, or lattes – that orange bit itself is pretty tasteless. But the spice? Oh, yes. The spice. That’s where the magic is.
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These scones are light and just barely sweet. Perfect for slathering in butter and honey or orange marmelade. Makes 16 minis or 8 standard.
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Ingredients
1 ¾ c. AP flour
¼ c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ c. cold butter, cubed
¾ c. buttermilk
1 egg, separated –white lightly whisked.
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Sparkle sugar (or granulated sugar)

Preheat oven to 425*.
1. Line a standard size cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix the dry. Cube the cold butter and drop it in the dry mix. Cut it in until it is after pea-sized but not yet coarse crumb.
3. Stir in the nuts and cranberries.
4. Whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and buttermilk.
5. Flour your counter, barely stir the liquid in to the dry, then put it on your floured counter to barely, gently work the dough to a cohesive ball. With plenty of flour on your hands, gently, gently flatten the ball in to a disc about 8″ across and 1″ high. (or, divide the ball in two and flatten both those in to discs about 1″ high). Heavily flouring your board knife or a large chef’s knife, cut the circle in to 8 triangles. (Or you can make two 6” discs for 16 minis.)
**A Karen lazy step here is, I actually put my parchment on the counter and use it to help form the dough, then cut the scones directly on it, and slide it on to the cookie sheet.
6. Brush the tops and backs (not the sides) with the egg white, sprinkle with sparkle sugar.
7. Bake 425* 15-18 mins until golden brown.
8. Cool slightly, slather in butter and munch.
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Cranberry Orange Loaf Cake

There are certain flavor combinations that just make me so happy. Roast beef and horseradish. Goat cheese and roasted beets. Hard boiled eggs with balsamic vinaigrette. Lemon and blueberry. And, cranberry with orange. 

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I was *so* excited to see the cranberries had arrived at Costco last week. I wish I had room in my freezer to buy like three bags. They keep a long time in there! Of course, I immediately wanted to make C-O scones. But, you know, that’d be attempt number three and even for my obsessive nature it was a bit much. So, the interwebs led me to lots of possible recipes. Saw one at the Oceanspray site and thought, alright alright alright. That should be reputable……

 

 

This was one of those “oh, shit!” recipes. You know, where have something started or in process and there is a critical problem? I had measured out and mixed all the dry and was getting ready to add the fat – in this case, butter – when I saw it called for 4 tablespoons.  For four cups of flour and two of sugar. Plus a cup of orange juice and a couple of eggs. Holy shit. This was going to be a seriously dry log – something to make a ciambella look like a pudding. Fuck a duck. So, I had to scramble for similar recipes and found a blueberry lemon cake to base the. uh, mid-recipe adjustment needed to not wind up with a giant dry crumb from the oven. 

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….Himself, looking over my shoulder, “well, that looks like a bowl of whalp.” Feel the love, people. Feel the love.

Even with the addition of more butter, more buttermilk and egg, this batter was still so stiff it held the beater in position when I popped the bowl off the kitchenaide.

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Once it came out of the oven, I knew things worked out. It tastes great – so, whew! Crisis averted. And, wtf Oceanspray?

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This is a lovely tea cake, buttery with a tender crumb, a sweet citrusy glaze and the zam! pow! tartness of those fresh cranberries.  You are really going to enjoy this one! Have it with a cup of coffee in the afternoon, or dress it up with some orange whipped cream and a cranberry coulis for dessert. YUM!
For the cake
3 c. fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
4 c AP flour
2 c sugar
zest of an entire orange (about 3Tbsp)
1 c butter
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1.25 c buttermilk
juice from the orange (about 1/4c)
1 tsp vanilla
For the glaze
zest and juice of one orange
1.5-2 c powdered sugar
Instructions
Chop the cranberries coarsely.
Mix in the mixer bowl the flour, sugar, zest, salt and leavening.
Add in the butter, mix on medium.
When the dry/fat mix looks like coarse cornmeal, stop the mixer. Pour in the wet. Just barely spin the beater a couple of times to mix. Stop.
Pour in the chopped cranberries, and again just barely spin the beater to mix them in.
Split this VERY thick batter between the two pans, and bake 60-70 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
Let cool ten or fifteen minutes while you make the glaze.
Combine the juice, zest and powdered sugar in a bowl and get out a pastry brush. It should be the consistency of crepe batter (or elmer’s glue if you’ve not made crepes.)
When the pans are just cool enough to touch, get a butterknife, and slide it down and along the sides of the cakes to make sure all the sides (and especially the corners!) are loosened and not stuck. Then whack the sides of the pan with you hand to make sure that puppy is ready to pop out and gently depan the cake. (I usually put my clean silicone oven mit across the top, invert it, lift off the pan and then set the cake on the cooling rack.)
Once you’ve got them both on the rack, put a cookie sheet underneath it. Use the pastry brush to brush away any loose crumb.
Pur about a ¼ of the icing on each cake and work wicked quick with the pastry brush to sloppily coat the top and sides with the glaze. Now, let the cakes cool. Cover the remaining glaze with some cellophane and go read some food blogs for an hour or two. When the cakes are cool, artfully drip the remaining glaze on each. You can sprinkle garnish on top of this glaze if you like (candied orange peel, sparkle or pearl sugar, colored sugars or sprinkles). Once the glaze dries, you can wrap these puppies in wax paper, or slice and devour. This will freeze beautifully.
Notes
This makes two 9″x5″ or four 8″x3″ loaves.

serves 16
calories 408
fat 13g
cholesterol 79mg
sodium 376mg
carbs 67g
-fiber 2g
-sugars 41g
protein 6g

Cranberry Sweet Rolls

I’ve been eyeing this recipe at Smitten Kitchen for ages, and finally took the plunge. The fact that I still have a shit ton of cranberries in the jumbo Costco bag in the freezer has nothing to do with this decision. Nothing, I tell you. mmmmm

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What made me most want to try this (besides the fact that they look soooo good), is the overnight-in-the-fridge-bake-in-the-morning part.

How they looked this morning before going in...
How they looked this morning before going in…

 

....and with some glaze after they came out.
….and with some glaze after they came out.

 

I am lucky to have an oven with a “proof” setting. Although the original recipe said to set them out for a half hour then bake, they looked kind of puny when I took them out of the fridge. So, I set them in proof for 45 minutes, and am glad of it.

I swear yeast doughs always feel miraculous, don't they?
I swear yeast doughs always feel miraculous, don’t they?

 

When I make these again, I will add more orange. And let the dough stay stickier than I thought it should.  Her recipe is here.

Tangy cranberry swirled in a rich brioche. Yum.
Tangy Cranberry Swirled in a rich brioche. Yum.

Make some!!

 

 

Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette; or, Keeping Your Resolutions with Leftovers

So, yeah. The holidays. Finally our season of overindulgence has ended. But, I still have stuff hanging about: blue cheese, cranberry sauce, glazed pecans. … …. Mmmm, that would be really yummy in a salad. 

Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette

 

This is pretty simple stuff:

Cranberry and Orange

 

Toss the leftover cranberry, orange juice and zest, some dijon, cider vinegar and olive oil in the blender and away we go!

Cranberry Vinagrette and Salad
Ingredients
1/3 c. leftover orange cranberry sauce
Zest of half and orange
Juice of one orange
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/3 c. cider vinegar
2/3 c. olive oil
dash S & P
Sugar, to taste.
Instructions
Put everything but the olive oil in the blender.
Purée until smooth.
Taste, add sugar if you’d like it sweeter. (or honey, or agave, etc.)
Leave the blender on, and drizzle in the olive oil until you have a gorgeous hot pink emulsion.
Stores in the fridge for a couple weeks.

Servings 8
Calories 189
Fat 18 g
Sodium 12 mg
Carbs 7 g
Protein 0 g

Apple Cranberry Crumb Cake

There’s this awesome coffee cake recipe from Yankee magazine that’ really ingenious because you mix the flour, sugars, and oil and then take out 1/2 cup of that to be the crumb topping. So very New England no-nonsense.  That’s the base for this, I just put in some fruit this time. 

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Apple Cranberry Crumb Cake
Mmm – sliced and ready for nice cup of coffee.

 

Apple Cranberry Crumb Cake

 

 

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The Quest for the Perfect Cranberry Scone, Episode 2

Cranberry Clementine Scones
Cranberry Clementine Scones

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3/8/2015 – Well, this sucks. This post was hacked and deleted, and I don’t have a back up. Stupid hack fucks.  At least we still have pictures, and honestly this is the same scone base I always use, just with two Tbsp clementine zest and 1/2c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries added and skip the lemon and pistachio, and the glaze is made with the juice from those clementines. 

 

Pumpkin Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins, or P-COP’s for short

 PCOP Muffin

Tender crumb, full of chewy cranberry, tender pistachios and orange-y goodness. Made with the usual suspects (except the white chocolate – it didn’t make it in.)

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your muffin tins. Get out your ½ cup scoop and set it in a large glass of hot water. If you don’t have a scoop, a pair of soup spoons will do just dandy. Sift your dry ingredients on to a parchment sheet or flexible cutting board (to be able to easily add it to the wet later.)

COMsift

COMdry

 

Beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy.

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 Add the eggs.COMegg

Then the vanilla, zest, pumpkin, and buttermilk.

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Next the cranberries and pistachios.

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Finally, stir in the flour mixture to just barely mix. Scoop the batter into the muffin liners, being sure to swirl the scoop (or spoons, use one to scoop the other to scrape the batter into the liner) in the hot water before each scoop.

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 Bake 25-30 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test.

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Cool, dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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Recipe here by Karen Maginnis, adapted from: http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/pumpkin-coffeecake-recipe/

Cranberry Orange Scones

COscone1Fresh cranberries. I LOVE this time of year, in part because of the fresh cranberries.   And cranberry and orange? Heaven in my book, absolute heaven!

I thought I’d try a scone with fresh cranberry instead of the treacly sweet dried kind, and some orange.  Google led me to our Lady of Excellence and Butter, Ina Garten.  These are delicious, and on the cakey side more than the biscuity side.  I’m too lazy for a round cutter, so wedged discs it was for me – and I like to brush on my glaze while the scones are still hot – it dries as a pretty shine, and keeps them from drying out if you’re planning to take your sconage to your co-workers the next day.
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