Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quick & Easy Cranberry-Orange Muffins

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I don’t bake very often. I don’t have the patience for it, or the time, and I’ve come to accept that carbs are evil. A dark, seductive evil. Resisting takes superhuman willpower. But it’s Christmas season, and my husband loves baked goods. So I decided to indulge his sweet tooth while indulging my love for sentimental holiday TV movies – I baked him these delicious little mini-muffins while Debbie Macomber’s Trading Christmas played on the TV. It was the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!

A friend once made us a loaf of Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread. She would have given me the recipe, I’m sure, but making bread from scratch just seems so complicated. The movie was only two hours long – I didn’t have time to make bread from scratch. So I came up with a quick and easy alternative, using boxed cake mix, and I’m happy to say that they are truly delicious!

These Cranberry-Orange Mini-Muffins would be a great addition to any Christmas potluck, and I think they would look lovely on a plate of Christmas cookies, if you’re the kind of person who brings plates of cookies to the neighbors. (I’m not, so if any of my neighbors are reading this, don’t get your hopes up!)

Recipe: Quick and Easy Cranberry-Orange Mini-Muffins

1 box Duncan Hines classic white cake mix (18.25 oz)
3 large egg whites Juice of 2 oranges, plus enough water to equal 1 1/3 cups
2 T vegetable oil
Zest of one orange
1 C fresh cranberries, chopped

Blend all ingredients except cranberries on low speed until moistened, then beat at medium speed for two minutes. Fold in chopped cranberries. Put into muffin tins lined with paper and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I made mini-muffins, and they took about 20 minutes, but you should start checking at 15 minutes. If you make regular size or jumbo muffins, they’ll need more time.

Frost with orange-cream cheese frosting. (I bought a can of cream cheese frosting and added the zest of one orange to it.)

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