When I was a kid and anyone asked me what was my favorite fruit, I happily replied, “Grapefruit!” While most children preferred the more conventional apple or maybe a banana, I’ve always been a fan of all things sour. Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that I share a similar, if recently cultivated, love for cranberries. I sort of forgot they existed for a while, partially due to having a low-key Thanksgiving, but then I remembered, and now I can’t get enough of their tart, juicy selves (twss?). It’s appropriate, I think, because I have now officially been a Wisconsin resident for a year (!), and – guess what? – Wisconsin is the #1 cranberry-producin’ state in this here nation! So these ruby-red morsels of delight are local. Win!
I find it a little puzzling that so many cranberry-centric baked good recipes ask you to chop your cranners. I think there’s something enjoyable about keeping them whole and having big cranberry chunks in your bread or your muffin, ready to explode into bright-red bursts of tartness on your tongue. That (and, fine, my lack of a food processor) leads me to keep mine whole in most recipes, and I was pleased to see that the wittily-titled Cranboozy Cake (or, in my case, Giant Muffins) from 500 Vegan Recipes also calls for whole berries. Cranberries, vodka, triple sec, and orange juice? Sign me up!
I’ll be honest – I wasn’t head-over-heels crazy about these at first. I tend to be a little leery of baked goods sweetened solely with agave, partially because it’s quite temperamental during the baking experience and partially because I find the flavor lacking a certain something (but maybe that’s the sweet tooth talking). However, by the time I ate the third muffin (not in one sitting!), I was properly cranboozled. I appreciated the muffins for what they are – a sophisticated baked good with a blend of flavors that leaves no room for overly sugary sweetness. And the liquors add a little somethin’-somethin’ extra, a pleasant smoothness that lingers on the tongue. Yep, I’m a fan.
If you don’t own 500 Vegan Recipes, never fear! Celine has the recipe available on her blog. Do you have any favorite cranberry recipes (sweet, savory, or something in between the two)? I’m in the market!
And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win some fun crafty goods and a cookbook!