Orange Cranberries Rolled Oats Ricotta Muffins

This post is pretty simple and entirely silly. Read at your own risk. If you wish for more substantive writing refer to my previous post Sfinge – A Moroccan Vegan Doughnut.

I am obsessed with anything rolled oats and my favorite ingredient around Thanksgiving is cranberries. Since Nordstrom no longer carries my favorite orange cranberry muffins, I decided to bake my own. I found these gorgeous, plump organic cranberries couple weeks ago but had to freeze them since we were heading out of town. They are still such beauties even frozen.
This year Sagie, a sophomore in college, is coming home on a bus from UMASS Amherst through Grand Central Station, with three of his English exchange student buddies, one is his roommate. A chance for them to spend and experience the Holidays American style and to tour DC. Am so excited to spoil them with plenty of food whenever I get a chance, when they don't run off to catch up with Sagie's high school friends.
While I realize the Beckhams do not represent the entire United Kingdom I found this mightily amusing! I remember last year or so, but do not remember quite when, David Beckham playing for the Galaxy, I believe he still is, and the Beckhams living in LA, his wife, Victoria, was interviewed on TV just after Thanksgiving, and to paraphrase it, she said 'can you believe it they stuff the turkey's bum?!'. Now I wonder what Sagie's Rnglish fellows would say?! I know they would be fine! :)
On a serious note on this recipe, please read cook's tips at bottom before proceeding to bake these muffins. Loosely adapted from a yummly recipe.

Orange Cranberries Rolled Oats Ricotta Muffins
Makes Dozen large and dozen mini muffins


Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4-1 cup rolled oats
Zest of 2 clementines
1 cup orange/clementine juice (juice from zested 2 clementines above plus orange juice for a total of a cup of juice)
1/4 cup whole, skim or non fat milk
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/4-1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw1/4 cup canola oil

3/4-1 cup halved fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F oven. Line both a large and mini muffins trays, dozen muffins each, with paper muffin cups.
Mix well all the dry ingredients in a bowl except the last two: cranberries and 1 tablespoon of flour. In a separate bowl mix well the clementine zest and all the wet ingredients except the last two: cranberries and 1 tablespoon of flour. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, fold 3-4 times with a rubber spatula, it won't be mixed well at this stage. Into the halved cranberries bowl toss 1 tablespoon of flour mix lightly and quickly and add to the batter. Fold the batter few more times until lumpy. Do not over mix.

Tablespoon the batter into the large muffin paper cups and teaspoon the batter into the mini muffin tins. Bake the large muffins for 20-25 minutes and the mini muffins for 10-15 minutes.

Cook's Notes:
-I add flour to the cranberries so they won't sink to the bottom and will be distributed evenly throughout the muffins.
-I like tartness so I used 1 cup cranberries. This recipe will be great with 3/4 cups as well.
-With only 1/2 cup honey the muffins will be subtly, even faintly sweet. I would definitely add 1/4-1/2 cups Sugar in the Raw according to taste.
-I wished for more of an oaty/nutty taste from the oats so I added 1 cup. You can reduce it to 3/4 cups.
-I usually like to oil the muffin tins lightly and bake the muffins directly inside the tins but it's easier to bake them and giveaway as gifts if they are baked in muffin paper cups. I find they dry out at the bottom more if baked in paper cups so I placed the muffin tray on a large cookie sheet to see if the paper cup muffins will bake better that way. The cookie sheet at the bottom also helps with catching overflowing dough as it rises. This method helped with keeping the muffin bottom more moist.

Related Thanksgiving posts: Last minute Thanksgiving... I wrote in 2009 and you betcha' I am going to pre order those two pies at the Pie Gourmet just to be on the safe side that they won't run out. Honey, Agave, Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Rolls with Flax and Sesame seeds: My Tale of Becoming an American! I wrote a year ago around this month.

*More photos will be added later