Cranberry Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

When I was in high school, I was kind of lame. Truly. I didn't get into any of the trouble depicted in high school movies. There were no whirlwind teen romances, no ragers that ended with angry parents or the police called, no sneaking out late at night after mom and dad went to bed. None of it. Instead, our little gaggle of high school gals would head into the city, find a bakery, and eat some cupcakes. Or rent a movie. Or watch whatever Real Housewives franchise was currently on tv after cooking dinner and baking something ourselves (you know, when we were on a budget). Don't get me wrong, my best high school pals are still some of the best gals I know, but we were a tame, low-key, follow the rules kind of bunch. 

Enter these cranberry dark chocolate chip muffins. They're traditionally my Christmas Eve morning go-to, but, well, I've also made them on quite a few mornings when we weren't expecting Santa to make an appearance later that night. The muffin batter base itself is fairly plain, allowing the rich dark chocolate and sour bursts of cranberry to shine through. You'll notice there are no added flavor extracts or anything of the sort in these - feel free to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (the real deal stuff, not imitation), or some orange zest would also be lovely.

This here's the first recipe I ever developed. Ever. So it felt just right that it be the first I share here. The inaugural CCC recipe. Happy muffin making.

Cranberry Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes: about 24 muffins

3c all-purpose flour

1 1/4c granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt (I use Kosher almost exclusively)

1 1/2c sour cream or light sour cream

2 large eggs

1/2c unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2c fresh (or frozen) cranberries

1 1/4c dark chocolate chips

raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line 2 muffin tins.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to make sure it's all mixed up good.

Combine sour cream, eggs and butter in a medium-ish bowl. Grab your whisk that's already out and give it a good mix.

Fold the sour cream mixture into the flour and sugar mixture. Keep on folding until it's all just combined. Try not to over-mix too much. Add in the cranberries and chocolate (it's almost a whole small sized bag of chocolate chips. I won't tell if you snack on the rest.). Using an ice cream scoop (or 2 spoons, you do you), place the batter in the muffin tins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little raw sugar. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a knife stuck into the middle of one comes out clean. Pull them out of the oven and let cool in the muffin tins for about 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely and eat one over the sink while you're cleaning up.