January 6th, 2011

Orange Cranberry Muffins

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Makes 12 muffins

The holidays are over, but the cranberries linger on! I always have a bunch of odds and ends left over from my whirlwind of holiday baking and cooking. This year I had a lot of citrus and cranberries, so these muffins from Vegan Brunch were the perfect getaway plan.

There’s a lot to love about these muffins – their bright orange flavor and tangy cranberry bite. But the ingredients aren’t just yummy, they’re really convenient, too. You don’t even need any non-dairy milk, just the juice from the oranges. I’ve made these with reduced fat, too. Just use 1/3 cup apple sauce and 1 tablespoon of oil instead of all the oil called for. Also, nuts are optional, I left them out this time around.

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
1 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add canola oil, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Mix just until all wet ingredients are moistened. About 1/2 way through mixing add the cranberries and nuts.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 23 to 27 minutes, until lightly browned on top and a toothpick or knife inserted through the center comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

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