Fire House Orange Cranberry Nut Muffins RecipePhoto Credit : Howard L. Puckett
Once or twice a year Jeannie and Dave McDermott drive from their home in Roeland Park, Kansas, to Maine, traveling through the mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire, then dropping down to the coast on U.S. Route 2. On their travels they discovered the Fire House Bakery in Norridgewock, Maine. Here’s one of its specialties — Orange Cranberry Nut Muffins — which the McDermotts dream about on that long drive.
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 ounces softened cream cheese
5 tablespoons softened butter
1-3/4 cups sugar plus additional sugar for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons orange extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Craisins or dried cranberries
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins or line them with paper baking cups. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir with a whisk until blended, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese and butter and mix until smooth. While mixing, add the sugar and beat well. Scrape the bowl and mix again, making sure all the sugar is blended in. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and orange extract. Using a wooden spoon, alternately add in the milk and flour mixture, stirring by hand just enough to combine the ingredients. Stir in the walnuts and Craisins. (Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough.) Scoop the batter into the muffin tins, filling each cup about three-quarters full. Sprinkle the tops with additional sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched.