I was first introduced to the cranberry-orange flavor combo at Whole Foods. They have delicious cranberry orange muffins that are hard to resist. Looking to recreate this awesome culinary experience (and wanting to create holiday goodies for my colleagues) I looked up what recipes were out there. Answer: A LOT!
For some of you that are wondering: what do I look for when I research recipes? 1. The quality of the website. Is the recipe from Frankenstein’s Favorite Foods? Or is it from a reputable site like Joy of Baking or Simply Recipes? 2. Quality of the photos. Does the food have an unnatural yellowish tone and looks like they took the photo in the basement of their house? Or does the food actually looks appealing/mouthwatering? 3. Beyond aesthetics, I also look for recipes to get ideas. One recipe may use spices that another doesn’t, so looking at multiple recipes can influence the final result.
Source: Adapted from Joy of Baking
Makes 16 mini-loaves (half the recipe to make 1 9×5 loaf)
1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
2 T. orange zest
8 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and line mini-pans with parchment paper
1. Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
2. In a small bowl, combine the beaten egg with the orange juice and vanilla extract.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and orange zest.
4. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend it into the flour mixture using your fingers or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped cranberries and nuts. Pour into the prepared mini-pans and bake for 22 minutes (if making it in a 9×5 pan, bake for 50-60 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.