Random Food Gift #2

For Random Food Gift #2, I chose to bring Fresh Cranberry Muffins to my office. It's not uncommon for me to bring food gifts to the office, so I couldn't not include my co-workers in the 12 Days of Christmas. These muffins have a nice hint of orange that ties all the flavors together. They, too, are out of the Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook. The only change I made was to use half whole wheat flour instead of only all-purpose flour. The recipe is supposed to make 12 muffins, but you really have to stretch the batter to get 12. The size of the muffins is perfect for a small snack, but if you want a more substantial muffin, you may want to double the recipe. If you do double it, you may need to bake it a bit longer. Want to know the foolproof way to know when your baked goods are done? Use your nose. This is some of the best advice my mother gave me. When you suddenly smell it, it's done. You can kind of smell it all the way through baking, but only if you really think about it. You know it's done when all of a sudden the aroma hits you like a wall. This recipe was great, and I look forward to making it again after Christmas. Hope you like it too!

Fresh Cranberry Muffins

1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cups turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
2/3 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

1) Sift together dry ingredients (flours through salt). Stir in the chopped cranberries and set aside.

2) Mix together the wet ingredients (milk through egg) and add to the dry ingredients. Stir just until incorporated and divide evenly among a 12 muffin greased pan.

3) Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean (you may need to bake it a bit longer if you double the recipe and use one muffin pan). Remove from pan immediately and let cool.