Cranberry Cupcakes

What a novel idea. Why had I not thought of these? When I opened the new Food Network Magazine, there they were. So simple and what a great dessert to serve through the holidays. Use them with a pretty little Thanksgiving pick and then place the name cards in front of the pick to welcome your guests to the table. Ditto for Christmas, changing the picks to Christmas.

Serves 12

For the cupcakes:

 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teas baking powder

1/2 teas salt

1/4 teas baking soda

1/8 to 1/4 teas freshly grated nutmeg (Or use ground if that is all you have)

6 tables unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg, at room temp

1 teas vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

Frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp

3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce

1/2 teas vanilla

Pinch of salt

Dried cranberries to top cupcakes

To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 more minutes.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the flour mixture; beat until just incorporated, about 1 minute.  Add the sour cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes.

Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Let sit until cool enough to handle, then gently press the back of a small spoon (or if you have ordered a Thumbie from me, it makes it so easy) to make a small indention. Fill each indention with a teaspoon or 2 of the whole cranberry sauce. Remove the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

For frosting, beat the butter with1 cup of the powdered sugar in a large bowl until combined, about 2 mins. Reduce the mixer speed and add the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar and beat until all butter is incorporated and the mixture is fluffy. Beat in the 1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce and vanilla and salt until combined. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes and top with dried cranberries, if desired.

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