One of my favorite things to do is disabuse people of their food dislikes. Of course I don't practice what I preach (stay away from me olives, tomatoes and fish) but I love asking people what they don't like, then feeding them it and watching them change their minds.
So when I got avowed lemon and cranberry haters to love these Lemon Cranberry Mini-Muffins, I knew I'd won.
They're sweet and they're simple and moist without being heavy. The lemon flavor is pronounce without hitting you over the head with it and the cranberries add a nice sweet-tart touch. Plus they're mini-sized so it's easy to pop one or two or three in your mouth.
Anytime I use citrus zest in a recipe I use my microplane to zest it straight onto the measured out sugar. Then I mix it together and let it sit for at least five minutes, which allows the sugar to draw the flavor out of the zest and be infused with an extra layer of flavor.
I like the lemon-cranberry combination, but you could of course try your own mix-ins: raisins, chocolate chips, poppy seeds, dried coconut... or even a combination!
2/3 cup granulated sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup milk or soy milk
2 large eggs
juice of one lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
Mix the zest and sugar together and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in the oil, milk, eggs and lemon juice and mix together well. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and cranberries and mix until just combined - don't overbeat.
Makes about 12 regular muffins or 36 mini muffins.
Bake on 375 F for 15-18 minutes for regular muffins or 8-12 for mini-muffins or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.