Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Essence of Orange Muffins

I've been experimenting with muffins recently since they are incredibly quick and easy to throw together, and offer endless variations. I've made several recipes from my Dorie Greenspan book, but so far I have mostly been disappointed with the slightly dry results. I think I can make a few slight changes and improve the recipes I've made so far, but I haven't quite gotten around to repeating any of them yet. However, I did make an orange muffin recipe from The Pastry Queen book I've been using a lot lately.

The results were amazingly moist, tender, and incredibly flavorful. I threw in a cup of whole cranberries to turn them into cranberry-orange muffins and they were amazing. The only problem with the recipe at all (why is there always a problem?) is that she only gives the baking instructions for Texas-sized muffins, which are huge. When I repeat this recipe I will definitely play with baking times for standard muffin cups, because these suckers were ridiculous. The book claims that it makes 8 Texas size muffins, but I only got six. It's possible that her pan is smaller than mine, but I'm not really sure about that.

As with all muffin recipes, you want to be careful mixing the dry and wet ingredients together -- mixing only long enough to bring everything together. The only thing I really changed was adding the cranberries (I think blueberries would be good too) and I didn't use any zest in the glaze because I didn't feel like zesting another orange. The glaze tasted great without it, but I'm sure it would have been better with the zest.


1 cup milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange

Orange Glaze

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 Texas-size (3 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep) muffin cups with butter or cooking spray. Whisk together the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until the flour is incorporated. Gently fold the orange zest into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup just to the top. Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes, until they are golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and glaze.

To make the glaze: combine all three ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread the mixture on top of each muffin. Serve warm or at room temp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very good muffins, especially since they tasted like muffins rather than cake-in-muffin-characteristics. moist throughout, the middle and bottom as good as the top. a keeper. -jb