Thursday, January 29, 2015

Orange Muffins

These muffins from Taste of Home knocked our socks off!  A lot of supposedly orange flavored baked goods barely taste like orange, but not these.  Tender, buttery, lots of orange flavor... Yum!  These are so sweet and tasty that I'm not entirely sure they aren't cupcakes without frosting.  They also stay good for several days, we enjoyed the last of the batch a good 5 or 6 days later and they were still really good.  I'm going to experiment with substituting half of the butter with half a cup of applesauce (so 1/2 C butter and 1/2 C applesauce) just so they're a little less heart attack-y, but definitely no complaints in the flavor department as the recipe is written.

Orange Muffins

1 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 T orange zest
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 C orange juice
2 t orange extract
1 t vanilla extract
2 C flour
Preheat oven to 375 and either line a muffin tin with muffin papers or grease the muffin tin.  You will need about 18 prepared muffin cups, but you may want to start with only greasing/lining 15 because there's some variation in the capacity of muffin tins.
Cream together butter and sugar, then beat in egg yolks.  Stir in orange zest, baking powder, and salt.  In a measuring cup, stir together orange juice and extracts. 

Alternate stirring the orange juice mixture and flour into the creamed butter mixture, just until everything is incorporated.  Don't over mix!
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold them into the muffin batter by hand, just until no white streaks remain. 
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.  You want each cup to be about 2/3 full so they don't overflow.
Bake until they turn golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Yield: About 18 muffins

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