It's round 4 of Midnight Muffin Madness and this week the "Other People" will be feasting on Orange Cranberry Nut muffins. Mmmmm - tasty! It's too early for fresh cranberries - and all of the frozen cranberries are long gone, but thanks to the good folks at Ocean Spray, all is not lost!
The wet: 1 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs - beaten, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup whole cranberry sauce, 6 Tablespoons melted (and cooled) butter, 2 Tablespoons orange zest and 1/4 cup orange juice. Plus for the glaze: 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice.
Wait! Where's the orange juice?
There it is. Nevermind...
The dry: 4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 Tablespoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and 3/4 cup dried cranberries. Plus for the glaze: 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar.
Measure out the dry ingredients and stir them together. Make sure that the dried cranberries are individual - no clumps - so they all get coated in flour and "float" in the batter.
Measure out the wet ingredients, leave out the butter and the orange juice at first. Stir together the wet ingredients and then add the butter - stir that up. Then finally add the orange juice and stir that up.
Now pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and give it a quick stir. This batter is a bit stiffer than the Midnight Muffin Madness batters I, II, and III. The spoon will stand up in it after it's mixed together (and slowly fall over...), but that's an okay thing. The butter milk and butter keep it nice and moist. Oh, and the glaze.
Put 2 nice sized scoops of the batter into the muffin tin lined with cups. They won't even out until they get into the oven, so they kind of look like little ice cream cups. Except they're not, they're raw muffin dough cups. Nevermind...
They go into a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Then take them out and let them cool while you make the glaze. These ones dome up nicely, I think. And the dried cranberries take up some moisture, but they're still a bit chewy.
For the glaze, put the confectioner's sugar in a bowl and then add the 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice 1 Tablespoon at a time. The amount of orange juice you use is going to depend on how humid it is, so put some orange juice in and give it a stir until it reaches a "ribbon-like" consistency. You also don't have to sift the sugar before you add in the orange juice. The lumps will work themselves out as the sugar absorbs the liquid - so no worries there. After you've got it mixed up, just set it aside until the muffins have finished cooling.
At this point it's usually a good idea to explain to your pup why eating all of the cooling muffins on the counter would not be a good thing. Even though she really really wants them. Awww! I'm going to have to make her some biscuits!
Drizzle a bit of the glaze on the muffins. Just a bit at a time because the glaze will spill over the cups and they'll be all sticky. And who wants to pick up a sticky muffin?
The glaze will set up and harden a bit, but it melts in your mouth when you take a bite. Mmmmm! The thing that works really well with these muffins is that they can be packed in layers even with the glaze because the glaze hardens.
So now my DH can take 2 dozen little muffins off to "Other People" to eat.
I think I need to make a bigger batch next time so there are some leftover for us!