Wednesday, October 14, 2009



Come fall, I start dreaming about cranberry confections. This recipe, adapted from Food & Wine Magazine’s March 2001 issue, called for fresh or frozen whole cranberries. I really wanted to make these with whole cranberries, but couldn’t find any. So I subbed dried sweetened cranberries instead. I erred in only using 3/4 cup, thinking that when they plumped, they’d double in size. Well, maybe they did double, but I wanted more cranberries. So I’ve adjusted the recipe below accordingly. 051

These muffins are the bomb and are almost cupcake-like! So tender and delicate, so moist and flavorful. I was short on orange zest when I made these, so there was barely a hint of orange; but they were still delicious. Be sure you use the full amount of orange zest for best flavor. The crumb topping is to die for, especially with the glaze made with the leftover juice from plumping the cranberries. (Food & Wine’s glaze was just confectioner’s sugar and water.) 050

Really, these are a winner. You might want to double the recipe, because these will go fast.

Glazed Cranberry-Orange Muffins with Walnut Crumb Topping
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, March 2001
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Printable Recipe
INGREDIENTS: 1-1/4 cups dried, sweetened cranberries
4 Tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate, divided use
4 Tbsp. water
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided use
3/4 cup sugar, divided use
2-1/4 tsp. baking powder, divided use
11 Tbsp. (1 stick + 3 Tbsp.) Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend (or butter), melted, divided use
1/4 cup chopped or broken walnuts , toasted
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1-1/2 Tbsp. orange zest, packed
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used Stonyfield Farm)
1 X-large egg
1 cup confectioner’s (10X) sugar

Combine cranberries, OJ concentrate and water in small saucepan; heat to boiling; cover; off heat; let sit for 30 minutes to plump.

Heat oven to 425F (400F for dark or coated pans). Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Make crumb topping: In medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 tsp. baking powder. Stir in 3 Tbsp. melted butter, then add walnuts, pinching mixture into clumps with fingers. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, whisk together remaining 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest. Drain the cranberries well, pressing them down in a sieve, but catch the juices that remain. Pat the cranberries dry by rolling them in several thicknesses of paper towels. Add them to the flour mixture, tossing to coat well.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 8 Tbsp. melted butter, yogurt and egg. Pour the flour mixture into the liquids and stir lightly with a spoon or spatula just till barely combined. Do not overmix – it’s okay to have some lumps. Spoon batter into muffin cups and cover with crumb topping. Gently press topping onto muffins.
026 028 032 Bake about 15 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns clean. Cool muffins on wire rack. While muffins are cooling, prepare a glaze using 1 cup confectioner’s sugar and about 2 Tbsp. of the reserved juice from the cranberries. Use as much of the juice as you need to make a thin glaze. Drizzle it over tops of muffins and let them air dry till the glaze hardens. Serve immediately or freeze for later use. Yield: 12 muffins
Cook’s Notes:
1. To make a lower-fat muffin, use 1/2 cup applesauce + 2 Tbsp. melted butter, instead of 8 Tbsp. butter.
2. Easy way to melt the butter – In large microwaveable bowl, heat ALL the butter on high, covered, till it melts. Prepare topping ingredients using 3 Tbsp. of butter from large bowl. Mix the egg & yogurt with the remaining butter in the large bowl.
3. If you use fresh or frozen whole cranberries for this recipe, increase cranberries to 1-1/2 cups, and toss them with 2 Tbsp. additional sugar before adding to flour.
4. Large egg may be substituted for the X-large egg, if desired.


Denise said...

Judy, these are gorgeous. I love orange, cranberry combo, I make a bread with it. PIcs are awesome!!!!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I always look forward to cranberry time. I stuff my freezer full of bags to last all year. I'm down to one bag....if I lived next door I'd share it with you to have one of these lovely muffins.

Barbara Bakes said...

These are gorgeous muffins! I especially love the orange drizzle!

Debbie said...

I love the topping on those muffins. They look delicious!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

Cranberry and orange is such a lovely flavor combo! These are just mouth-watering with that glaze dripping down the sides!

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary Judy!
Hope your hubby took you somewhere nice :)


Valerina said...

Judy, that last picture is gorgeous! I love the way your topping is so full and bursting out of the muffins. :)

teresa said...

mmmm, i want to curl up in a blanket and enjoy one or two of these!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow great flavors in here thanks for your kind advice Judy

Yasmeen said...

Irresistibly good!love the moist texture and the crans. must taste divine :)

Fresh Local and Best said...

This looks fabulous! The muffin looks so moist and full of yummy nuts. I like that the recipe calls of orange zest - how wonderful the orange drizzle must be!

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

Your muffins are amazing. I'm drooling here with the glorious pictures!! :)



Coleen's Recipes said...

These beautiful muffins just SCREAM fall!!

Sophie said...

Lovely & fantastic looking crumb muffins!!

They look awesome, Judy!!!

darnold23 said...

I've always loved the flavors and cranberries and orange together. I saw this just in time to make it for a brunch contribution at work. Everyone loved them. Thanks so much. You have an award waiting for you at Dining With Debbie.

Judy said...

Denise, Barbara, Debbie, Reeni, Valerina, Rebecca, Teresa, Yasmeen, Fresh, Gera,Coleen, Sophie --thanks so much for your kind words.

Sam, I wish you lived closer too.

Gary, Thanks. We went to La Fontana with our out-of-state house guests and had a wonderful Italian meal.

Debbie, Thanks for the feedback on these muffins. I liked them a lot too. And thanks for the beautiful blog award. Will post it soon.

Juliana said...

Wow, these muffins are just mouth watering, love the combination of orange and cranberries. The look very tempting :-)

Linda said...

Looks great! We're on the same wavelength... I made muffins with crumb topping on Sunday... just haven't gotten a chance to post it yet...

Yours look absolutely divine!

Anonymous said...

You have some great muffins, this one included. Orange and cranberry are a winning team.

fed up said...

Hi Judy,
Th recipe for Glazed Cranberry Orange Muffins has my mouth watering. Can't wait to make them...I have one question though- The Ingredients call for 3/4 C sugar divided, but the directions say 1/4 C sugar for the crumb topping and 2 Cups sugar for the muffin batter. Which is incorrect the directions for the muffin batter or the Ingredient list?
Thanks for clarifying.

Judy said...

Fed up, Thanks so much for catching my typo. The correct amount of sugar for the muffin is 1/2 cup, and I have edited the recipe accordingly. The topping takes 1/4 cup sugar, so that equals the 3/4 cup sugar in the ingredient list. Please let me know how the muffins turn out. I hope you like them as much as I did!

Danielle said...

These look amazing! The crumb topping is like the frosting on the cake

Anonymous said...

I like this site^-^

Unknown said...

The flavor on this is great! They were perfect except for mine came out a little dense/dry. How should I fix it?

Judy said...

Unknown, It sounds like you overbaked them. Remember that baking times are just a guide and you should start checking several minutes before the stated baking time in case your oven runs hotter. To answer your question, though, I don't know of any way to fix a dry overbaked muffin.