Essence of Orange Muffins
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
- Orange Glaze:
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
To Make the Muffins: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 extra-large muffin cups (3 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep) or line them with muffin wrappers. 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. (This would be a great time to eat them, too.)
To Make the Glaze: Combine the orange juice, powdered sugar, and zest in a medium bowl. Spread the mixture on top of each mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tip: Although the original recipe calls for whole milk, I have had good results using skim or low-fat milk. Use whatever you have on hand.
Note: These delicate, cakey muffins are not too sweet. They are best when warm and fresh, but can be cooled and then frozen up to two weeks. Defrost them at room temperature. Just before you are ready to eat them, warm them in a 325 degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes. No need to butter these, they are rich and delicious au naturel. This is one of my favorite master muffin recipes. These muffins a fabulous plain, but I often add a cup of whatever fruit is in season. In the fall, I add fresh cranberries; in late spring it's raspberries or peaches. I make a batch of muffins with blueberries almost daily year-round. Dried fruit works well, too. Dried cranberries and cherries are two of my favorites.