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Monday, July 25, 2011

Cranberry, Orange, Chocolate Sour Cream Muffins

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Aside from a brief stint in high school before prom, when I was a younger, less-wiser, version of myself, I stay away from tanning beds. Skin cancer and wrinkles are not something I’m willing to risk, no matter how pasty I am now as a result. I actually tan quite easily, but 5 am runs followed by long hours in the office and evenings in the kitchen means I don’t easily attain that tanned glow that I used to. No big deal, except I didn’t want to be the ghost standing among my friends in Kacey’s wedding a few weeks ago.

In a moment of foresight, I purchased a Groupon a few months ago for two Mystic tans. My plan was to try one a few weeks before the wedding and, if all went well, use the second the week before Kacey and Keith’s big day. This is how I found myself at a Tan Company at 9:00 pm on a Wednesday evening.

I won’t go into all of the embarrassing details, but just know that my first Mystic tan experience was the ultimate fail that left me running home to shower off the 3 sides of my body that had been sprayed as well as the gobs of lotion that covered my knees and elbows (let’s just call that a misunderstanding of directions!).

That experience was just so “me”. I swear, awkward and semi-hilarious-if-they-don’t-happen-to-you moments are the epitome of my life. I have plenty of stories I could share with you, but I’ll save those for another day…

What does my awkward Mystic tan experience have to do with these muffins? Not much, except that I returned home after my frustrating 45 minutes at The Tan Company and was instantly cheered up when I bit into one of these muffins I’d made earlier in the day. Tender and only slightly sweet, after I added some whole-wheat flour and reduced the sugar from the original recipe, these burst with flavor. As I settled in with my bedtime snack, I said a little prayer of thanks that the only overtly orange thing in sight was my little muffin. (And in case you were wondering, I did have a Mystic tan success when I returned the next day ;))

Cranberry, Orange, Chocolate Sour Cream Muffins
adapted from Evil Shenanigans
*Makes 18 Muffins

-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1 cup whole-wheat flour
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 orange, zested
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/3 cup orange juice
-3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup chocolate chips
-1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 375F and line 18 muffin cups with paper lines.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix orange zest, orange juice, butter, vanilla, sour cream, and eggs.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until moist. Stir in dried cranberries and chocolate chips.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake for 16-20 minutes (mine were good at about 17), until the tops are golden brown. Cool in the pan for 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Don't forget to go bid on my granola bars & cookies, or any of the other auction items, as part of The Great Fundraising Act. Auction is live from 8 AM EST to 11 PM EST!! Let's raise some major money for Susan! Auction found here!