Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cranberry Orange Bran Muffins

I saw a recipe for Cranberry Orange muffins and that seemed like a perfect recipe to try for my mom's visit.  The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make my bran muffin recipe and mix it up a little.  I keep feeling like this is a recipe that has a lot of merit but I haven't mastered a recipe that has been a crowd pleaser made plain, with raisins, or blueberries.  I decide to punch it up with orange and cranberry!  It seemed like a brillant idea.

I started by zesting the outside of the orange.  I used my little grater/zester because it fit right in the container so that I could do it ahead of time and stick in the fridge (because when cooking around summer schedules, you have to get in the steps you can ahead of time).  But if you don't have a cute little grater, the full size one works just fine.

Then, I took the cereal and smooshed it up.  I am still not really sure about this step but it seems to make sense to me so I do it while the bag is still sealed because it is a lot less messy.  You can get out a little frustration on the bag by punching (lightly) with your hands and fingers.  I move all the cereal around in the bag until  I get everything an even size.  The bag goes from super full looking to a slightly sad amount at the bottom of the bag.

The first step is to let the cereal sit for a few minutes in the milk to soften up the cereal.  I figure that if you don't crush it then it just take a little longer to fall apart.  I decided to use the coffee creamer this time because I have some that I got for free at the store and I figured that it would make it taste a little more like the buttermilk version.

While the cereal was soaking, I measured the cranberries.

I decided to plump the cranberries in some hot water like I normally do with my raisins.  I am not sure if it worked as well with the cranberries but some of them plumped up while they got more hydrated.  The most plump ones floated to the top.

The next step is to mix in the egg and the oil.

Then, I added the orange zest.

Add in dried cranberries to mixture.  I decided to go with one cup because I had a lot of cranberries that I got free from a sale so it seemed like I should try the high number now while I had a bunch.  If you want, you can add to taste.

Add in the dry ingredients and it is starting to look like muffin batter but mine was a little dry so I added a few drops of orange juice from the orange that I zested.

I put them in my two smaller muffin tins because I feel like they make a deeper muffin then my other muffin pan and then realized that this would make almost 24 muffins.  I don't like to use the paper cups because I feel like you loose some of the muffin on the paper so I grease my muffin tins before adding the batter.  Feel free to choose whatever might be your family favorite.

Then they are put in to bake!

They are best fresh out of the oven (maybe with a little butter).

I broke one open to see the texture inside and see how many cranberries were inside.  The muffin smelled like orange and was very tasty.

I hope that you make these soon and see if you like this version a little more then the basic recipe.  If you want, mix it up with any ingredients that you think would taste yummy!

Cranberry Orange Bran Muffins
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups Total Bran cereal or any other bran cereal
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 of an orange zested
  • 1 1/4 cups creamer (or milk or buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or shortening)
1. Crush Bran cereal while still in bag.
2. Measure Bran cereal and creamer into mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cereal softens. Add egg and vegetable oil. Beat well.
3. Add orange zest and cranberries.
4. Add flour and dry ingredients to cereal mixture, stirring only until combined. Portion batter evenly into muffin pan cups coated with cooking spray.
4. Bake at 400° F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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