I hate to be alone in the mornings. It’s boring. When I was a little girl, and wanted my brother to wake up and get crackin’ so that we could play a game or watch Saturday cartoons together, I would throw a couple of dog biscuits onto his bed and our two Cocker Spaniels would jump on top of him and run all over the bed looking for the treats. When he would emerge from his room, I would be sitting on the couch, pretending to look uninterested in his arrival, and I would try not to smile. Unfortunately, I have the worst Poker face known to man. The worst.
Now that I am 42, things have not really changed that much. My kids and hubby like to sleep in, and I still wake up before the crack of dawn. My Golden Retriever, Sadie, is always more than happy to jump up with me, and usually that is plenty of company. She is a fantastic morning companion, watching my every move as I bake or start something for breakfast. She is also a big trouble maker and likes to squeak obnoxious toys, tromp up and down the stairs and bark at squirrels that run past our yard. This is very helpful in the “let’s wake up the family and get this show on the road” game without making me the bad guy.
But today, it was almost 10:00 am, and I had already made these cranberry sauce muffins, cooked up some bacon, scrambled some eggs with my daughter and made waffles. Yes, I am nuts…please stop pointing out the obvious.
In my opinion, it was time for my teenage son and his friend to get their butts out of bed so I could finally put breakfast away. Falling back to my old bad habits, I grabbed a few biscuits in my hand, quietly cracked the door just a smidgen open and randomly tossed the biscuits in. The two dogs (my pup and her cousin, Chloe, who was staying for the weekend) ran in, like shoppers on Black Friday grabbing the last cheap flat screen, and tackled the boys.
Mission accomplished. About five minutes later they labored out of bed and down the stairs and began to eat breakfast. My son looked suspiciously at me as I tried to appear innocent.
Oh…I had almost forgotten about the muffins…Here is an exact quote from my daughter, who is not a cranberry lover at heart, “I think these are the best muffins you have EVER made!” I know we have heard such a quote on this blog before, but these were not your average muffins folks. Not only did they have a swirl of cranberry sauce through the center, but they also had a bit of coconut oil, coconut extract, some cardamom, and a little buttermilk. They were muffin perfection: soft, sweet, a little tart and a touch crispy on top. And they used up most of my leftover cranberry sauce. What more could you ask for?
—If you don’t have left-over cranberry sauce, you do have my permission to buy a can of the non-gelatinous stuff and use that. Or if you are a little crazy like me, then please feel free to make a fresh batch from scratch. I have included the recipe below. We crazies have to stick together.
Cranberry Sauce Muffins
An S&C Original Recipe
Makes only about 7-8 muffins, depending on size so if you need more, double the recipe.
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cardamom
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil (I melted mine in the microwave 20 seconds so it liquefied)
1 large egg
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 c. cranberry juice (or apple juice will work fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 t. coconut extract
3/4 cup fresh cranberry sauce (about 1-2 tablespoons per muffin)
1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. granulated sugar|
1/4 c. butter (chopped into small cubes)
1/4 t. cinnamon
To make the muffins: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 6-8 muffin cups. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through sugar.
In a separate, small mixing bowl, beat together coconut oil through coconut extract. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine, but do not over-mix. Fill each muffin cup 1/2 full. Dollop one spoonful of the cranberry sauce on top of the each half-filled muffin cup. Top with 2 spoonfuls of batter.
Sprinkle streusel topping evenly among the muffins. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until barely firm to the touch and slightly golden.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
This only makes enough for the muffins so double if you are serving it along side a meal.
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 c. water
1 T. brandy
To make the sauce: Stir water in a sugar together in a medium-sized pot until dissolved. Turn on stove to high heat and boil rapidly. When the water is boiling rapidly, add the cranberries and stir. Add the brandy and stir. Return to boiling and then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil for 3-4 minutes or until the skins pop, and at least half of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool before storing in the fridge to be used later. As the cranberry sauce sits, it solidifies more. I would use fairly cooled cranberry sauce in the muffin recipe above so make this recipe a good hour ahead of time.