Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins

I wanted something fun to eat for Christmas morning, but something I could make ahead. So today, Christmas Eve, I made Cranberry Muffins from Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook, 1967.  This fun cookbook was another freebie from a church tag sale. Even though 1967 is a bit late for my preferred recipes, the cover was just too kitsch not to get it. As you can see it shows a mid-century modern home with hostess and host greeting their guests for what would no doubt be a very swank party.

Many of the recipes call for mixes like Bisquick. Naturally General Mills was trying to encourage sales of their products like Bisquick.  Just yesterday I thought I’d take a glance at the ingredients of Bisquick and quickly put it back on the shelf after seeing the long, long list of unhealthy ingredients.

The history of Betty Crocker is an interesting one. In 1921 the Washburn Crosby Company held a contest to encourage consumers to buy their flour, Gold Medal. (General Mills would eventually buy out this company). They were flooded with not only would-be-contestants, but women requesting help with their baking. To answer their letters, the company invented a fictitious homemaker names Betty Crocker.  The last name Crocker was in honor of one of their long-time company directors.

Female employees of the Washburn Crosby Company were allowed to submit their versions of Betty Crocker’s signature and the most distinctive was chosen. Amazingly they still use this signature! There’s so much more interesting history on Betty Crocker and you can read more here.

The recipe was easy to make and the resulting muffin is quite tasty. The melding of cranberry and orange flavoring is perfect for the Christmas season. Here’s the recipe:                                          

  • 1 c. fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 tbs salad oil or melted shortening (I used butter)
  • 1 tbs. grated orange peel

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Grease bottoms of a 12 muffin cup pan

Half the cranberries and then combine with the 1/2 c. sugar. Set aside

In mixing bowl, stir dry ingredients together

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients

In another bowl beat egg with fork, stir in milk and the melted butter

Pour all at once into dry ingredients and stir just till moistened

Add cranberries and sugar

Don’t overmix or you will get tough muffins!

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full

Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown

Loosen immediately and let cool on a rack. Enjoy and Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Christmas morning with muffin, Dan's Woolworth 1940s-era nativity, and a shameless plug for my museum, The New Hampshire Boat Museum!


2 Responses to “Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins”

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  1. Bev Duell-Moore says:

    Those look and sound good! I might be trying them sometime. Meg and I have a tradition for breakfast already, so it won’t be tomorrow.

  2. Judy Maritato says:

    Sounds great! I LOVE muffins! Will try these sometime soon maybe for New Year’s Day? Happy holidays!

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