I was going to write a post for you about Christmas and relate these muffins to how one always gets oranges in their stockings on Christmas morning. It’s such a quaint tradition, straight out of the prairie days that my mother and I love. But it’s after Christmas now and I missed that opportunity, so we’ll have to move on to other things. My excuse: the week before Christmas was crazy. crazy crazy. Like, I had so much stuff to print at work and the copier was broken and the artwork I needed to print wasn’t working and I got a new computer that is awesome but also created some confusion. And it was stormy and we had last minute Christmas shopping to do and parties to attend and I had an awesome cake to bake.
Then I went on vacation. Thank goodness. To Arizona, which was beautiful. (Although I am glad to be back in my own bed and reunited with my planner.)
So we’ll have to move on to new things now. But not before we fit these muffins in there. Because even though in the past few months I have made doughnuts and chocolate cinnamon rolls and plenty of homemade granola, these were perhaps my unexpected favorite. Light and airy with the fresh flavor of orange without tasting too much like straight up citrus. The chocolate gives them a needed sweetness. But even that wasn’t my favorite part (what is happening to me y’all? first I say there’s too much chocolate in my cinnamon rolls and now this?). What was really my favorite part was the orange. It was like taking a bite of sunshine first thing in the morning.
We are in to January now, which is always my least favorite month of the year. Although I love new beginnings and the thought that 2013 could hold all kinds of great things, I also largely despise the gloom of January. And if you’re the same way, these are some muffins to brighten up your days.
Chocolate Orange Muffins
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 orange (the zest and the juice)
About 3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter (or spray with non-stick cooking spray) one regular size muffin pan. Or line the molds with paper muffins cups, and then spray the cups with non-stick cooking spray.*
2. Pour the orange juice into a 2 or 4 cup glass measuring cup. Then pour in enough buttermilk so that it totals 1 cup. Whisk in the eggs, honey, and melted butter.
3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar with the grated orange zest. Rub them together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk together.
4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir gently just until almost combined. In a small bowl, toss the chocolate chips together with the tablespoon of flour. Then stir the chocolate chips (coated with flour) into the batter. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
6. Bake for about 22 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Even though Dorie Greenspan tells us we don’t need to grease our paper muffin cups, I high recommend doing so, as I had a terrible time with these sticking to the paper.