Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205
degrees C). Place rack in the middle of the oven. Butter well or
spray, with a non stick vegetable spray, 12 muffin tins.
Cranberry Sauce: In a medium sized saucepan
place the cranberries, sugar, orange juice (or water), and orange zest. Cook over
medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries
start to pop open, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool
slightly while you
make the batter.
Muffin Batter: In a large mixing bowl,
combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate
bowl, mix together the milk, egg, vanilla extract, and melted and cooled butter.
Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just
until combined. Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will be tough when
Evenly divide the
cranberry mixture among the 12 well greased muffins cups and then evenly spoon
the batter over the cranberry sauce.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or
until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out
clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for about 2 minutes, and then invert them
onto a cooling rack so the the cranberry topping is face up..