There are two things I always seem to have around: dried cranberries (because I impulsively bought a five pound bag at Sam’s Club last year) and at least one pathetic-looking orange that I bought weeks ago with the best intentions of juicing/zesting/otherwise providing with a good home. And you know the saying – when life hands you a pathetic-looking, abandoned orange, make cranberry-orange muffins.
I first tried this recipe a few months ago when a good friend had her first baby. I was trying to fill her freezer for the next week or two while she adjusted to life with a newborn, and had already made cupcakes, peanut butter chocolate chip muffins, pizza, and mac and cheese – I was down to staple ingredients and a few stray pieces of produce in my fridge, but I was on a roll and didn’t want to quit yet. After digging out my steadfast sad orange and a bag of dried cranberries, I went looking for the perfect cranberry orange muffin recipe and found it on the first try. These are truly divine – they’re perfectly sweet, balanced by a lovely contrast of tartness from the sour cream and zesty orange topping, and they freeze beautifully for a quick and easy breakfast down the road. I can tell you that since I found this recipe, I have far fewer oranges languishing in the bottom of my produce drawer – and these muffins are even better with new, happy oranges.