Cranberry Bliss Muffins

How much do I love Starbucks and how often do we go there? Well, my toddler requests a stop almost daily, if that tells you anything. I’m not proud. But hey, at least she thought McDonald’s was a farm (truth).

Cranberry Bliss Muffins - Inspired by the famous Starbucks bars, these cream-cheese frosted muffins are studded with cranberries and white chocolate. The perfect breakfast treat for the holidays!

Starbucks is a weakness, for sure. And around this time of year, their cranberry bliss bars are also a weakness. A buttery blondie base studded with white chocolate and cranberries and then smothered in cream cheese frosting, more cranberries, and a white chocolate drizzle? Pure holiday nirvana.

Cranberry Bliss Muffins - Inspired by the famous Starbucks bars, these cream-cheese frosted muffins are studded with cranberries and white chocolate. The perfect breakfast treat for the holidays!

I allow myself maybe one or two per year, but that doesn’t mean I don’t dream about them otherwise. Or offshoots. Like Cranberry Bliss Muffins. I had to create them. It was my calling. My mission. My density.

Cranberry Bliss Muffins - Inspired by the famous Starbucks bars, these cream-cheese frosted muffins are studded with cranberries and white chocolate. The perfect breakfast treat for the holidays!

The muffins themselves are buttery and craggy, more dense than light, almost more moist scone than cake. With their cream cheese frosting and white chocolate drizzle, I didn’t want the muffin itself to be light and fluffy. Otherwise, they would be cupcakes! These are unmistakably muffins – but with frosting. And toppings. And awesomeness.

Cranberry Bliss Muffins - Inspired by the famous Starbucks bars, these cream-cheese frosted muffins are studded with cranberries and white chocolate. The perfect breakfast treat for the holidays!

A muffin with frosting – totally acceptable for the holidays.

A few recipe notes

The base of these muffins is adapted from the blueberry muffin recipe in a seriously incredible new cookbook, The New Best Recipe, from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. These guys exhaustively test recipes until they come up with what, they feel, is the best version of each one. It’s a different sort of muffin recipe – no milk, only sour cream – but the result is rich and thick, even vaguely reminiscent of the blondies these muffins are inspired by. Be sure to follow the steps as stated – vigorously whisking the egg, beating it with the sugar, GENTLY folding the wet and dry ingredients together – or your muffins may turn out tougher than you like.

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