Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh man, I’m excited about this one!

First, I love re-purposing foods. I knew that cranberry sauce would go over like a lead balloon with my Thanksgiving crowd, but I like it and it’s traditional so I made it. As much as I love it, I can only handle a few spoonfuls with my meal. Needless to say, I had a ton left over! But I didn’t want to throw it away so I needed to come up with a new way to use it. I asked around for ideas and then overnight I had a very vivid dream about turning it into muffins.

Which brings me to the second reason I am so excited about these. I couldn’t find a recipe that matched what I had been dreaming of. So I headed to the kitchen with the goal of making my own. And it was a success! Score!

I should also mention that everyone that turned their nose up at the cranberry sauce at dinner, gobbled up the muffins and said they were awesome.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup flour plus 2 Tbsp, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1-2 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup cranberry sauce*

*I only used 1/3 cup but once they baked it like they could use a little more, so I recommend a full 1/2 cup. Also, I’m sure you could substitute cranberry sauce from a can, especially if you can find some with whole cranberries in it.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degree. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In glass measuring cup stir together the greek yogurt and milk; set aside.

In another medium bowl (or a standing mixer with paddle attachment) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Next, alternate adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and wet ingredients in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure there are not patches of unmixed dry ingredients. Toss the white chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of flour then use the spatula to mix them into the batter. Next, carefully fold in the cranberry sauce, so it creates a marbling effect in the batter.

Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Yields 12 muffins

Sunny Side Up original, with the muffin base adapted from Sunday Nite Dinner as I previously posted it here.

Cranberry Sauce

With Thanksgiving less than a week away now, I thought it might be a good day for a double dose of sweetness. Don’t forget to check out today’s other post, pumpkin pie!

Sometimes instead of picking out the melon from my fruit salad, I’ll give it a try, just to see if I suddenly like it. I don’t (still tastes like watered down perfume to me) but I try because you just never know. Like for example butterscotch, cooked carrots, and small pieces of apple in foods like Stuffed Acorn Squash or Asian Lettuce Wraps. I never liked any of those things, but over the years my tastes have evolved. Which is really great for someone that loves food as much as I do.

That’s sort of what happened with cranberry sauce. Every Thanksgiving I would put a little on my plate, give it a try, and pretty much always decide that there were just more important foods on the plate.

That may still be a little true (the part about there being more important foods on the plate) but I’ve really come around in the cranberry sauce arena. It’s not my favorite food on the table at Thanksgiving, but it’s totally necessary, especially when you have a delicious recipe.

With hosting a Thanksgiving meal on my own for the first time this year, I searched for the perfect recipe. And I think I found it! A little sweet and a little tart. The only changes I made were to cut the recipe in half (and it’s listed that way below). And bonus, I re-purposed the leftovers into a killer muffin.


Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients
1 12-ounce bags fresh cranberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
scrapings from half of a vanilla bean (optional, they can be expensive, but if you have one use it!)

Directions
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugars and salt in the water and orange juice. Add the cranberries and cook until the cranberries begin to pop (this part is fun! sounds like popcorn!) Cook cranberries, stirring occasionally for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Once thick, remove from heat and add stir in the orange zest and vanilla bean. Cool to room temperature and store in fridge until ready to serve. For a nice touch, garnish with a little orange zest when serving.

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Pumpkin Pie

With Thanksgiving less than a week away now, I thought it might be a good day for a double dose of sweetness. Don’t forget to check out today’s other post, cranberry sauce!

See that lonely little guy? That’s all that was left for me to photograph. I’m actually pretty lucky I even got this photo, Jesse was sitting down at his desk to eat it right out of the pie pan when I ripped it out of his hands to get the shot. With only crumbs left on plates and in the pie pan, I’d say it was a hit.

Here’s what to like about this recipe: It’s homemade. It’s made with cream (instead of evaporated milk). The spice is well balanced with the cream. Optionally, you can use fresh pumpkin puree (read about making pumpkin puree). It’s just an all around great pumpkin pie. Make this a new part of your Thanksgiving traditions!

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients
1 9-inch pie crust
3 large eggs
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or 1 – 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

*this time I used Trader Joe’s pre-made crust, I’m still looking for the perfect pie crust recipe. Any suggestions?

Directions
In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and place on a large baking pan to catch any spills. To keep the crust from burning, you can cover just the edges of the pie with foil for up to half of the baking time. Bake the pie for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust has browned (the center will still look wet with just a slight jiggle and a knife inserted about 1 inch from side of pan will come out almost clean.)

Allow to cool on a wire rack, serve at room temperature with whipped cream.

Adapted from Joy of Baking

Soft Yeast Rolls

 

These yeast rolls were one of my non-negotiables for my 48-hour Thanksgiving. I love, love, love these rolls. They’re buttery rich with a soft, fluffy texture. Yes, a bag of store bought rolls would have been faster. But it wasn’t something I was willing to budge on, even if it meant a little extra work. Not that I really mind that kind of work. I mean, extra work doing dishes, not my cup of tea. Extra work watching dough rise, punching it down, and shaping it, my idea of a good time.

Let’s say you have more than 48-hours to plan your meal. Perfect! You can make this dough ahead of time! To do that, follow all the steps through the shaping. Once the dough is shaped, freeze them on a cookie sheet until hard, then you can transfer them to a Ziploc bag if you like. The day before you need them take them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge. Bring them to room temperature and then let them rise another 30-45 minutes before baking.

All in one day or frozen for later, you’re going to love these rolls!

Soft Yeast Rolls

Ingredients
4-1/2 tsp (2 packets) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp butter
2 tsp honey

Directions
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes, until it starts get foamy and the water looks milky. Add the milk, butter, eggs, sugar, and salt and turn the mixer on low to combine. Add 3 cups of flour and beat until smooth.

Remove the paddle and replace it with a dough hook. Add 4 more cups of flour and let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should become smooth and elastic and just slightly tacky to the touch. Add up to 1/2 cup more of flour if the dough is too sticky. Move the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Towards the end of rising, butter two 9×13 pans. After the dough has risen, punch it down in the center and turn out on a floured surface, knead it by hand for a minute or so. Cut the dough into 24 even pieces* and place in the prepared 9×13 pans. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl and stir in the honey. Brush the tops of the rolls. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

*Usually I do 12 rolls per pan (and 1/2 recipe for just one pan) but for Thanksgiving I made smaller rolls. For smaller rolls divide into 40 pieces (20, 4 rows of 5, per pan).

Adapted from Taste of Home