I love winter. It’s full of warm seasonal joy and festivities with Christmas and New Year… but I don’t like winter when the late January frost sets in. Bitter cold winds and frostbitten noses makes me wonder sometimes if Global Warming was just a fairy tale.
Dorie Greenspan’s Orange Berry Muffins make the cold just a little more bearable. These muffins are so moist and the fragrant citrus flavor is very warming and sparkles through with every bite.
Orange Berry Muffins (from Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
- Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- About 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup blueberries – fresh, preferably, or frozen (not thawed)
- Decorating sugar, for topping (optional)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
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.
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 blueberries. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
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.
I must say that it was refreshing to finally bake something that didn’t take a whole day! These only took about an hour from start to finish and they are a real treat! I eagerly await the arrival of spring, but a cold day with one of these muffins and a glass of hot chocolate doesn’t seem so bad…