It’s That Time of Year, and I have been in deep, deep denial.
Sure, I’ve heard a few Christmas carols, but we didn’t send any cards. There’s no wreath on the door. The decorations are still nestled in the garage with care.
And, ohmagah, my in-laws soon will be here.
So, I made a batch of Christmas-Morning Muffins to fortify me as I haul out the holly. No mixer required. Just combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, the liquid (including fresh clementine or orange juice) in another, and stir them together into a lovely, lumpy batter. Then, fold in a few handfuls of dried cranberries or a mix of cranberries and chocolate chips. The topping is just a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar over each muffin.
Light, cakey, and they smell like Christmas.
I’m going to enjoy every bite of one of these muffins (maybe two), do a few one-armed push-ups, and get to work transforming the Continental Crump House into a Winter Wonderland. Because it’s time. Because we need a little Christmas.
And because one of our neighbors asked if we were celebrating this year.
Must. Deck. Halls.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s “How to Be a Domestic Goddess”
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Juice of 1 or 2 clementines or small oranges
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 5 ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) dried cranberries OR 2 1/2 ounces dried cranberries plus 2 1/2 ounces chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar, and add a generous amount of fresh nutmeg. Set aside.
- Take a liquid measuring cup, and measure 1/4 cup milk. Then add freshly squeezed orange juice to the milk until the liquid reaches the 2/3 cup mark. Add melted butter and the egg, and beat to combine.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, and stir until the ingredients are just combined but lumpy.
- Fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips, if using.
- Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the tops of the muffins. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.