Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins
I love making muffins. I love baking and cooking. I love trying new things in the kitchen. I bought a zester to try out this recipe. What is even more crazy is I don't even like oranges.
Every now and then I have an intense craving for oranges. At Panera there is an orange cranberry muffin. It is my favorite! But, they cover it in sugar. Sure it tastes great, but all that extra sugar isn't really needed. When I found this recipe on-line I knew that I had to make it.
I fell in love with these muffins as I made them. However, I knew that I could change it around a little and make them a little more 'me'. The first time I made them I used the zest of one orange and then store bought orange juice. There wasn't a lot of orange flavor. The color was there, and you could smell it. But, there wasn't much of the taste of orange.
The next time I made these muffins I used the zest of two oranges. I then cut them in half and squeezed them over the wet mixture. I'm not entirely sure how much juice it was, but it got me the flavor I had wanted. And I didn't even need to buy orange juice! (Which would never get drunk at my house since I don't like it and I'm not a fan of tequila...)
I have also changed out chocolate chips for craisins in the fall. I think they taste just as good. Though, my boyfriend dose prefer these muffins with the chocolate chips.
The first time I made these I didn't get buttermilk, I had never used it before and was worried I wouldn't have another use for it and it would go bad in the fridge. I just added lemon juice to regular milk. It turned out fine. Since then I have gotten a small container of buttermilk whenever I get the urge to make these muffins. I also, now have several other recipes that call for buttermilk so I know I will use it before it goes bad.
The Dry Team
Are Muffins Liners Needed?
I was a little hesitant to not use muffin pan liners. I didn't want the muffins to stick and I really didn't want to have to clean the pan if they did stick. But, I also really didn't want to have to buy one extra thing when it was just going to be thrown away.
I used a little pam for cooking instead. I just sprayed a little in each cup. I then took a paper towel and made sure the entire cup was even greased. The muffins came right out! Though I do think I might also have a nonstick muffin pan, which means the grease isn't even needed. But, still. I was pleased with myself.
The Wet Team
Creaming Butter and Sugar
It is possible to cream butter and sugar by hand. I can tell you right now it is a pain in the butt. My hand mixer died and I wasn't able to get a new one. It just wasn't in the budget at the time. But, I still wanted to make things that called for creaming butter and sugar. I just used the beaters by hand. It takes a long time and my hand would hurt after, but it turned out just the same. If you have a mixer (hand mixer or standing mixer) use it. I promise it is worth getting it out.
I got a bunch of things for my kitchen for Christmas and my birthday last year. I was so excited to get a beautiful kitchen aide hand mixer. It was even in blue! What used to take me fifteen minutes now takes me less than three minutes. It is fantastic!
- 2 Cups Flour, All-purpose
- 1 Oz Chocolate Chips, Semi-sweet
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 6 Tbsp Butter, Softened
- 3/4 Cup Sugar, White
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Tbsp Orange Zest
- 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
- 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
How To Make The Muffins
- Preheat the oven to 400 and lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan (or line the cups with paper liners)
- In a large bowel combined the flour, chocolate chips, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl (I like to use glass or metal) cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
- Once the sugar/butter mixture is at the desired consistency add the eggs, one at a time, and stir in the orange zest, orange juice, and buttermilk.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until completely moistened.
- Using a large spoon, spoon the dough into the muffin cups. Make sure you don't fill them more than 3/4 full.
- Bake in oven for 15-20, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. The consume or store as desired.
If your concoction doesn't look quite the same as mine does in these pictures don't fret! I had doubled the recipe when I made these. I was off from work early due to snow and I knew that my boyfriend was on his way over so I made a bunch so he could have some to take with him.
The entire house smelled like fresh oranges and chocolate. It was so nice and welcoming when I came in from walking my dog in the bitter cold after I put these in the oven.
I love this recipe. You can play around with it and spice it up. I have always wanted to try freezing these muffins to see how well then thaw out. But, I never seem to have a problem with them lasting long enough to spoil.
- Instead of chocolate chips you can use craisins.
- Try using fresh cranberries instead of chocolate chips.
- Or any other fresh berry.
- Add a little clove to the dry team for some extra flavor.
- Instead of orange juice use orange wine.
- Instead of muffins put in a loaf pan and make great dessert or breakfast bread.
- Add a little sugar to orange juice and reduce in a sauce pan to make an orange glaze to top the muffins.
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