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For the last several years we have been celebrating Thanksgiving with our friend the Eppenberger Family. They make delicious cranberry sauce from scratch every year, and I always save extra cranberry sauce to make these delicious muffins.

The muffin batter is pretty much consisted of the “orange” part while the “cranberry” part comes from the cranberry sauce filling. It tasted so good, tangy and refreshing. Although the batter is dense and thicker than average muffin batter, but after baking the muffins were very nice– golden brown on the top, light and fluffy inside. I think I nail it down this time– the secret is egg separation method. It’s a bit more work, but definitely worth the efforts.

Orange Cranberry Muffins
Orange Cranberry Muffins
Orange Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffin Recipe (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
5 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 2 oranges

Egg yolk mixture:
2 egg yolks– room temperature
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 tbsp melted unsalted butter– keep warm
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Egg white mixture:
2 egg whites– room temperature
2 tbsp sugar

Filling:
12 tsp fresh cranberry sauce– see note below

Topping (optional):
Chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin pans with muffin cup liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour, 5 tbsp sugar, baking power and salt. Mix in orange zest. Make a well in the center.
  3. Whisk all ingredients (except melted butter) in egg yolk mixture to blend well. Add in melted butter and mix well again. Pour into flour mixture. Use a spatula to fold in just enough to moist. The batter will be stiff. Do not over mix the batter.
  4. In a separate clean bowl, whip egg whites on high speed until it looks white and bubbles are very tiny. Gradually add in sugar. Continue whipping on hash speed until soft peak (curve tip) forms.
  5. Fold in whipped egg whites into the batter in 2 batches.
  6. Fill each muffin cup 1/3 full, spoon 1 tsp cranberry sauce in the center. Top the muffins cups with remaining batter, covering cranberry sauce all around. Sprinkle some walnuts on top if used. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown, and the muffin top springs back when lightly pressed. Remove to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Regina’s Note:

  • Eggs: be sure to use room temperature eggs. A quick way is to soak eggs in luke warm water for 10-15 minutes to bring to room temperature.
  • Cranberry sauce: cook the sauce a bit longer (can use microwave, uncover and reheat for a few minutes) so it gets thicker, and stay nicely in the center of the muffin instead of leaking to the surface of the muffins.
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