From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I suspect your holiday dinner plans were set in stone weeks ago, but on the off chance that you still haven't firmed up your menu for Christmas morning, I'd like to suggest these moist and lovely, cake-like, muffins. While they are not difficult to make, Christmas morning can be hectic and the muffins can be made well-ahead of serving time. They freeze beautifully and, if you choose not to do that, you'll be able to keep them at room temperature for several days in an airtight container. I do have a few cautions to share with you regarding the making of these garnet beauties. To prevent lumps, make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature and well-creamed before other ingredients are added. You will also want to make sure your muffin cups or the interiors of your paper liners are well-greased or coated with a non-stick spray. I didn't follow my own advice and had to wrestle them from my cup cake pans. I also managed to end up with enough extra batter to make 2 large Texas-sized cup cakes. I love the texture of these muffins and their bright pop of color is perfect for Christmas morning. I know those of you who give this recipe a try will be happy with the results. Here is how the muffins are made.
Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Taste of Home Best Holiday Recipes
1 cup butter, softened
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or paper-line 24 muffin cups.
2) Place butter, cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
3) Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and pecans.
4) Fill muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in muffins comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
5) Combine confectioners' sugar and milk. Drizzle over muffins. Yield: 2 dozen.
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