- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plain yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
- 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Turbinado sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 2 cups granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in zest.
2. Stir together 2 1/2 cups flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Toss cranberries with 1 Tbsp. flour. Fold cranberries into batter. Divide batter evenly between 2 (12-cup) muffin pans coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
4. Meanwhile, bring orange juice, lemon juice, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil until sugar is completely dissolved and syrup has thickened slightly (about 1 minute).
5. Pierce top of each muffin several times with a wooden pick, and brush warm syrup mixture over muffins. Sprinkle tops of muffins with turbinado sugar, if desired. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.
Blueberry-Lemon Muffins: Omit orange juice. Prepare recipe as directed, substituting lemon zest for orange zest and fresh whole blueberries or frozen blueberries for cranberries. (Do not chop blueberries.) Increase lemon juice to 3 Tbsp.
Brown Sugar-Toasted Pecan Muffins: Omit cranberries and 1 Tbsp. flour. Prepare recipe as directed, substituting light brown sugar for granulated sugar and adding 1 tsp. vanilla extract with orange zest at end of Step 1. Stir 2 cups chopped, toasted pecans into batter. Bake at 350° for 18 to 22 minutes. Hands-on 45 min.; Total 1 hour, 10 min.
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