Monday, January 22, 2007

Cranberry Orange Muffin Cage Match

Tonight on PayPerView: two muffins attempt to use up the orange juice in my refrigerator, but only one will become the Ultimate Fighting Champion.

(Note: Sarah is allergic to oranges, but occasionally does silly things like buy orange juice. These recipes are both variations on ones found in The Joy of Cooking. I find that baked goods are easier to share with friends and coworkers than half a bottle of OJ and less likely to give me hives than the other half of the bottle of OJ)

In the dairy corner wearing the blue paper baking cup, we have the reigning muffin champion: Orange Cranberry! Initially known as "Orange Quick Bread with Dried Cranberries and Pecans", this fighter has changed up his look to accomodate the ingredients I actually have (hint: no pecans).

Ladies and gentlemen! preheat your ovens to 350 degrees and give it up for Orange Cranberry!

Dry ingredients: 1.5 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder

Wet ingredients: 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup orange juice

Beat together 6T butter, 2/3 cup sugar* and 2 eggs. Gradually add in remaining dry and wet ingredients (alternating is fun).

Fold in 2/3 cup dried cranberries*. Spoon into greased muffin pan and bake until done. This weekend I was feeling mini-muffin, which took about 14 minutes.

The betting report: Milk and orange juice? Wasn't that the cocktail Winona Ryder initially suggested to take down a Heather? gross. But it seems to work in muffins. Not very orange-y without the addition of some citrus zest, but Sarah doesn't have any oranges or lemons in the house. Still a tasty muffin, Orange Cranberry is scrappy and could pull it out in the third round. Also, Vegas is giving 8:1 odds that Sarah gets scurvy.

Which brings us to the challenger: In the non-dairy corner, wearing the pale pink paper baking cup it's Orange Cranberry! It's a bold move stealing Orange Cranberry's nickname like that, let's see if it pays off for Orange Cranberry.

In his early days as a street fighter, Orange Cranberry was known as "Ultra-Orange Vegan Cake." But this isn't a street fight ladies and gentleman, let's see just how Ultra-Orange this fresh-faced muffin really is.

Set your ovens to 350 and put your hands together for Orange Cranberry!

Dry ingredients: 1.5 cups flour, 2/3 cup sugar*, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
Wet ingredients: 1 cup orange juice, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Combine the dry ingredients, add the vinegar and the remaining wet ingredients. Fold in 2/3 cup cranberries* and spoon into greased muffin pan. Bake until done. The last time I made these, we went regular size muffin and it took about 20 minutes.

The betting report: No dairy products at all, you can see the challenger is trying to appeal to the vegans in the crowd. Vegas betters are discounting the "Ultra-Orange" reputation of this competitor due to Sarah constantly leaving out the orange zest. The odds are stacked against him, but that could pay off big for a gambler willing to take a chance on this one.

The Winner!
After 5 grueling rounds we have a winner. Though both muffins were delicious, there can only be one Ultimate Fighting Champion!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Ladies and gentleman, I give you our new champion: Orange Cranberry. Though both muffins were feeling the loss of the orange zest, the vegan muffin still tasted orange-y. This ultimately proved to be the downfall for the dairy muffin.

(Note: Assuming you don't have any dietary restrictions, I would still recommend either recipe. You can make your choices based on what you have on hand. If you are actually planning ahead, buy an actual orange and add the zest to either recipe.)

*I tend to eyeball a quantity of sugar somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 cups. You can use a bit more or a bit less depending on how sweet you like your mufins. All cranberry measurements are approximate and usually determined by how many Craisins I already ate out of the bag.


Post a Comment

<< Home