Cranberry Muffins with Eggnog Cream
To me, it just doesn’t feel like the holidays until I have cranberry bread. This is the one sweet-bread that the Tall Boy and I can agree on–it’s just tart enough for him, but still sweet enough for me that I don’t feel like I’m eating something healthy. Because the holidays are all about indulging, right? And then we all jump aboard the health-conscious train in January?
Or is that just me?
Anyway, when we were tasked with the ingredient combination of cranberries and eggnog for this month’s Improv Challenge, I knew this was as good excuse for me as any to make cranberry bread.
Except I’m fairly lazy and chopping up whole cranberries seems like such a chore. So when my mother gave me a cranberry bread recipe she found in our local newspaper that actually called for whole cranberries, I felt like my prayers had been answered. I adapted the recipe to make muffins, and topped each one with eggnog whipped cream–as if the muffins weren’t calorie-laden enough on their own.
- ¼ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice (about 3 large oranges)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups fresh whole cranberries
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh eggnog
- Cream butter, sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in orange juice, zest and vanilla.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter-egg mixture; stir just to blend. Add cranberries and mix until well combined.
- Transfer mixture to muffin pan. Bake at 350 until slightly golden, approximately 18 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.
- While your muffins are cooling, chill your mixing bowl. With the whisk attachment of your electric mixer, combine cream, sugar and eggnog, beating until mixture forms a thick cream. Dollop on top of your muffins right before serving.
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Interestingly enough, I didn’t grow up with an interest in cooking. In fact, I informed my mother on multiple occasions that I was not getting an advanced education so I could spend my evenings preparing meals.
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