Your Life A to Z Recipe: Wednesday, December 18th, 2013: Dried Cranberry and Orange Muffins with Orange Butter

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Dried Cranberry and Orange Muffins with Orange Butter

Makes 12

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 egg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Orange glaze:
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans

Orange Butter:
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoon salt


Muffins:  Preheat oven to 375° F.  Butter or spray with vegetable oil twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt.  In another medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, orange juice, orange zest and egg.  In the bowl of an electric mixture or with a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.  With mixer on low speed, mix in dry and liquid ingredients, alternately, in a couple additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stir in pecans and cranberries, Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until muffins are golden and a skewer comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Glaze:  In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, milk, and orange zest until smooth.  Drizzle over cooled muffins and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Orange Butter:  In a food processor or with an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together until smooth.  Refrigerate, covered, if not using immediately.