Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Munchies with Muffins

We have been in a fog of rain and cloudy skies for about a week.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  Compared to what much of the country got, we're downright lucky.  But, it does make for some gloomy days when everywhere you look is gray and the chance for recess during the school day is slim to none for a week.  So last Thursday I thought I'd start the day off on a cheery note with some fresh-baked muffins.  As for flavor...well, I'd spoiled the kids with a treat of dark chocolate with an orange filling the week before, so I thought I'd use that as my inspiration.  I've got a recipe for orange-chocolate muffins, so I found it and rolled with it.
This was all that was left after breakfast...they ate 2 each!  Sorry for the lighting.  No natural sunlight will do that to you.
   These were absolutely delicious and a great way to wake up in the morning.  The orange flavor is refreshing and bright and the chocolate really makes it feel like a special treat.  The recipe called for squares of chocolate to be shaved, but it was a school morning, so I used dark chocolate chips.  As a former teacher, I HATE being late for school and we're still sometimes rolling in on two wheels to beat the tardy bell, so I wasn't even going to attempt to shave chocolate in the morning!  ;)




This recipe is from the Taste of Home Celebrations Cookbook.  My Mom bought it for me a few years ago for Christmas to feed my baking habit.  It's got lots great recipes for holidays and seasons throughout the year.  These muffins were under the Home-Baked Holiday Breads section, but I thought they were a great everyday treat.  Directions follow from their web site; my changes or additions are in orange.


  Orange Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I substituted vanilla flavored all-natural yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated  (I used roughly 3 ounces of dark chocolate chips but didn't really worry about measuring precisely...how bad is a little extra chocolate??)

Directions

  • In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream/yogurt, orange juice and peel. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and grated chocolate; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fill paper-lined muffin cups (as you can see, I just sprayed Baker's Joy all over my pan) three-fourths full.  (I use an ice cream scoop to get a fairly even amount in each cup and eyeball it...it's breakfast for my kiddos, no perfection required.)
  • Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.  (Mine made 12...maybe Oren and I sample too much along the way....)
Let me know if you try these out.  Or if you've got any good recipes to try.  We're always looking for yummy treats to sample!

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