Saturday, January 31, 2009

Orange Chocolate Muffins

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day...yes, I feel that these orange chocolate muffins are worthy of bursting into show tunes! Not that I'm particularly big on show tunes. I honestly don't know very many outside of The Sound of Music, and that really doesn't belong in the musical category anyway, it's just too good.

After sleeping in on this leisurely sunny Saturday, I meandered into the kitchen, all ready to prepare orange chocolate muffins. I've made them once before, but after having them today, I don't know why that is. They're good enough to whip up every weekend! Granted, that wouldn't be so great for the waistline, even with the addition of bran flakes and the not-too-high sugar content. I should note that my appreciation for the combination of orange and chocolate came later in life, and it still probably wouldn't be my favorite fruit-chocolate combination. In the case of these muffins, however, it's absolutely wonderful.

After I took my husband a muffin, I informed him that the heavenly, light orange flavor was courtesy of our very own oranges from the backyard. Yes, I marched right outside, plucked two promising-looking oranges from the tree, and zested and juiced them for the muffins. I think it must be just the right time to pick the oranges, because a month or so ago, they were rather dry. Not today! Today, I sliced into the oranges to reveal a beautiful, juicy center, as you can see.

Once the muffins were finished, I sat down and enjoyed one (or two, perhaps three) whilst reading for class (Lancelot and Guinevere-it's time for courtly love!). All in all, a perfect Saturday morning.

Orange Chocolate Muffins
from Fresh Every Day, by Sara Foster

1/2 cup bran flakes or All Bran cereal
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
Grated zest of 2 oranges and 1/2 cup of their juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line 12 large muffin cups with liners and spray the top of the pan with vegetable oil spray or grease lightly.
2. Stir the bran flakes, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
3. In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the egg and mix to combine. Add the sour cream, orange zest and juice, and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
4. Add the bran-flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment of an electric mixture until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips to combine. Do not mix any more than necessary.
5. Use a 1/3-cup measure or ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them to just below the rim of the cup. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center of a muffin and the muffins spring back when touched. Let the muffins rest about 5 minutes before turning them out. Serve immediately or cool on a wire rack.


Donna-FFW said...

I love Sara Foster. I am going to have to try these after reading through your post. Orange and chocolate is such a nice combination.

The White House said...

Yum. Delicious. Would you be willing to whip me up a batch of these? I have an orange tree in my backyard as well...

I left a comment on your top five Office post. Did you love the one last night? Wasn't it hilarious?