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Make the most out of leftover cranberry sauce

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Updated: December 22, 2012 6:09AM



Several naps and about 4,500 calories later, it’s time to put away the leftovers. Or better yet, reinvent them.

While it’s always exciting to look forward to Thanksgiving 2.0 on Friday afternoon, the very next upgrade of this holiday feast is known for its hiccups. It’s the same spread of food, but now everything is days old.

Luckily for those of us with palates that get easily bored, there are plenty of recipes for turkey leftovers. But what do we do about the fixin’s?

Sides are the best part of the Thanksgiving feast, but they never quite taste as good in leftover form.

The mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes lose their fluffy nature, the stuffing starts to get soggy, and the cranberry sauce thins into a syrupy river of gel.

Start small. Using up that leftover cranberry sauce before it starts to thin is a simple and easy beginning: The flavor isn’t complicated and its wintry aura keeps the holiday season alive for a few more days.

These morning-after muffins make waking up at dawn for those Black Friday sales an enjoyable treat — and they do so while utilizing one of Thanksgiving’s tastiest condiments.

Leftover cranberry sauce laces these hearty muffins with a tangy sweetness. Intertwined with orange zest and topped with a crusty orange glaze, these breakfast snacks are hardly recognizable as leftovers.

Forget the kitschy recipes for turkey leftovers. But before you toss out your cranberry sauce with the rest of your fixings, think about feeding your holiday guests a morning-after treat that flaunts one of Thanksgiving’s tastiest sides.

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

FOR MUFFINS:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 unsalted butter at room temp

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

2 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat, or a mixture of both)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

About 11/2 cup leftover cranberry sauce

FOR GLAZE:

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest

To prepare muffins: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners.

In a large bowl, beat together the vegetable oil, butter, sugar, sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, orange extract and orange zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger. Mix flour mixture into the wet ingredients in batches. Mix on medium speed until combined.

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 to the top with batter. Drop about 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce into the center of the batter. Be careful not to overfill.

Bake muffins for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

To prepare glaze: Bring the orange juice and powdered sugar just to a boil or until the sugar is just dissolved. Mix in the orange zest. Remove from heat and drizzle over the tops of the warm muffins.

Cool muffins on a wire rack until the glaze is hard.



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