Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease twelve to fourteen 2 1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups. In a medium mixing bowl toss cranberries with the 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside.
In a large bowl stir together flour, the 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar, the baking powder, orange peel, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside. In a small bowl combine egg, buttermilk, and butter. Add egg mixture and cranberries all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar.
Bake about 15 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve warm.