Holiday breakfast perfection. Inspired by Starbucks' Cranberry Bliss bars, these decadent muffins are studded with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries, then slathered with a cream cheese frosting, cranberries, and a white chocolate drizzle.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a standard-size muffin pan with 12 cups by either greasing the cups with butter or a non-stick oil spray or by adding cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Crack the egg into a medium bowl and whisk until pale, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick and well-combined, another 30 seconds. Add the melted butter and whisk vigorously to combine. Stir in the vanilla and orange zest. Lastly, add the sour cream in two additions, whisking just until combined.
Chop the cranberries (if you haven't already). Reserve 2 tablespoons and set aside. Add the remainder to the flour mixture along with 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips. Toss the cranberries and white chocolate chips with the flour mixture just until distributed.
Add the sour cream mixture to the flour and fold very gently with a rubber spatula, continuing to fold and stir gently just until combined. The batter will be very thick and there may still be bits of flour here and there; that's okay. Better to have spots of flour than to overmix.
Using a trigger-handled ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop into muffin cups in approx. 1/3 cup increments, dividing evenly between the 12 cups. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer afixed with the whisk attachment or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix on medium speed until well combined and smooth, about 60 seconds.
Frost cooled muffins with a knife - each takes about a tablespoon of frosting. Sprinkle on remaining chopped cranberries. Lastly, place 1/4 cup white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 50% power in 15-second increments until they melt when stirred. If the white chocolate siezes up, try adding a 1/4 teaspoon or so of vegetable oil to help get it to a drizzle-able consistency. I find my luck varies depending on what brand of white chocolate chips I use (I do like Ghirardelli the best). Another option would be to use a double boiler to melt the white chocolate. Using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the tops of each muffin in long, thin streams. Let sit until white chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes, and serve.
The muffins keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days, much beyond that and they get a little stale. You could also freeze the muffins then thaw and frost/garnish before serving.