Monday, June 21, 2010

Orange Berry Muffins

Hi again.  Sorry I've been so sporadic in posting.  Toby keeps me very busy and even though I wake up at like 6AM daily now because of him I've been spending my extra hours cooking and uploading vacation photos rather than blogging.  There are so many great things I still need to blog about but I've been struggling to sit down and make myself write...err...type. 

Posting recipes is surprisingly a lot of work!  There's witty commentary to be made, photo editing, finding the recipe again months after you made the dish (I was about to give up on finding this one again!), recipe copy/pasting/modifying, and then making a printer-friendly link (another project left unfinished...I was supposed to back convert older recipes and am probably only halfway through.  Mental note to self to finish that up...).  Now add to the mix a dog that you have to watch to make sure he's behaving and you've got yourself some blogging difficulty.  It's a wonder I can even *cook* anymore.  But, I wouldn't trade my beagle Toby for the world.  He's awesome and so loving!

Back to the story on this recipe.  I made this one wayyyy back on EASTER WEEKEND!  Whoa that's a long time ago.  I had made these to eat as a snack in the car and for quick and inexpensive breakfasts while we were spending time with our friends Sig and Kristen on a couples road trip to Washington DC to see the Cherry Blossoms.  They were beautiful albeit I had expected it to be more enchanting.  Guess that's what happens when you go in peak season.  I was so mad when I saw people picking the blossoms and/or whole branches off the trees.  Way to ruin it for everyone!  The city itself was soooo much more awesome than I remember.  The last time I had gone was probably elementary school.  I definitely would like to visit again someday.  We *almost* saw President Obama on the way to Easter Sunday service but got tired of waiting for (at the time) what we thought might actually be nothing.

I'd have to say that Sig and Chris probably had more than their fair share of these muffins.  And I can't blame them.  They're TASTY!  The orange zest (use organic oranges to avoid the pesticides!) gives it a great morning wake-up zing while the berries burst with flavor.  The zest also smelled so fragrant and citrusy when I was rubbing it in the sugar...I'll admit I kind of wanted to stop right there and just eat the orange flavored sugar haha!  They are relatively healthy because I substituted some whole wheat flour for the white and there's relatively little sugar for a sweet bread type recipe.  I must have added strawberries to my muffins because I had some leftover.  The original recipe was just for blueberries but why not do a berry mix for some gorgeous color :).  I definitely plan on making this one again.  Especially with berries being in season now.  Yum!

One Year Ago: Exquisite Pizza Sauce

Orange Berry Muffins
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Yields: 12 Muffins

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • About ¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ⅓ cup (2.33 ounces) sugar
  • 2 cups (9.6 ounces) all-purpose flour (I substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour for the same amount of all-purpose white flour)
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries and/or strawberries – fresh, preferably, or frozen (not thawed)
  • Decorating sugar, for topping (optional)
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line the pan with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups.
  2. Pour the orange juice into a large glass measuring cup or a bowl and pour in enough buttermilk to make 1 cup. Whisk in the eggs, honey and melted butter.
  3. In a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of orange strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy and bubbly, and that’s just the way it should be. Stir in the berries. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. If you want to top the muffins with decorating sugar, sprinkle on the sugar after the muffins have baked for 10 minutes. When fully baked, the tops of the muffins will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins will come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.
Source: Slightly modified from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours, as seen on The Way the Cookie Crumbles

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