Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins

One of the things I love in the fall is not the pumpkin spice that seems to spread far and wide with the unveiling of the first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks in late August and continuing through Thanksgiving.  Instead, I get pretty excited about the tart flavor of the cranberry, as has been evidenced throughout the last few months.  When preparing to  host Thanksgiving again this year, I knew that breakfast was the meal no one thinks about.  I actually went searching for a salad or vegetable recipe, when I accidentally came across this recipe for buttermilk cranberry muffins in our family cookbook, and I knew I wanted to throw it together for Thanksgiving morning.

buttermilk-cranberry-muffins

Buttermilk Cranberry Muffins

1 heaping cup cranberries, coarsely chopped
3/4 c sugar, divided
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c buttermilk, room temperature

Chop the cranberries and combine with 1/4 c sugar; set aside.  Sift together flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Lightly beat together egg, buttermilk, and orange juice concentrate.  Add liquid and sweetened cranberries to dry ingredients, stirring only until well-combined.  Spoon batter into buttered muffin pans or paper liners, filling 2/3 full.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  Sometimes I sprinkle these with a crumb mixture of 1 Tbsp each of flour, sugar, and butter.  The following cranberry butter is another nice accompaniment:

Cranberry Butter
1 c cranberries
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 c butter
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Puree cranberries in blender.  Add sugar, butter, and lemon juice.  Process until smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

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