Growing up, my siblings and I would usually get an orange in our Christmas stockings. As an adult, I thought it was because it was a good way to help fill our stockings and to keep expenses down. After all, we lived the stereotypical lifestyle in that our father worked and our mother stayed home to take care of us. (It really was a nice arrangement, I must say.) On one income, you learned how to make do with whatever was available.
I decided to do a little research about oranges, Christmas, and stockings – just to see if there was more to that tradition than meets the eye. Little did I know, but oranges have been traditionally placed in stockings representing St. Nicholas giving gold to be used as dowry money. In the Midwest, placing an orange in a stocking dates as far back as the 1800’s and they were considered a rare delicacy. Personally, I think that the timing of the orange harvest has something to do with it.
In homage to the fond memories I have of oranges at Christmas, I decided to create a muffin that combines the flavor of orange with cranberries. The base of the recipe is made with Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. For those of you who don’t know me, I am trying to avoid gluten. However, for those times that I want to indulge in treats made with flour, I use organic flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill because not only is the flour organic, but it also is unbleached. (I can’t quite understand why flour is bleached. Go figure.)
About Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour
- Organic Unbleached White Flour is freshly milled from Organic hard red wheat. Both the bran and the germ have been removed leaving the endosperm that is made into white flour. It is not enriched with any additives.
- This is the same high protein flour used by professional bakers and produces high, well-textured loaves of bread equally as well as it produces light, airy baked goods.
- This kitchen staple is incredibly versatile and perfect for all of your baking needs.
Making the Muffins
I start by making a simple crumb topping. Then I combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Next I whisk the wet ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl before adding it to the dry mixture. After blending it all together, I fold in the cranberries, scoop the batter into my prepared pan, sprinkle the topping, and then bake.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour
- 3 Tablespoons butter melted
- orange zest optional
- 1 1/4 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- orange zest
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- juice from half an orange
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
For the Topping
Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and melted butter. Using a fork, break mixture up until it is crumbly in texture. Set aside.
For the Batter
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients in a medium sized bowl and beat with a whisk.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined, being careful not to over mix. The batter will be thick.
Fold in cranberries.
Scoop batter into muffin tin that has been lined with 8 parchment paper cups.
Sprinkle with crumb mixture.
Bake for 17 to 19 minutes.
It is a sweet little treat that would be great for Christmas, or any time of year. Navel oranges work especially well when they are in season (November – January).
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.