Orange & Blueberry Muffins, Go Gators!

19 Sep

From my food blog, Chomp and Chew, for The Independent Florida Alligator…

Can a blueberry muffin be improved?

The soft, spongy cake swells with fresh berries that burst with every bite. The blue globes dot the treat like stars in the sky, too plentiful to count.

Even when cooled, the scent is so enticing that it beckons you to try a sample from across the room.

It is springy to the touch — save for the crispy muffin top that gets just a bit more love from the oven’s heat.

But there can always be more.

A blueberry muffin, although classic, can be made even better.

All it needs is a little orange.

When I thought of the flavor combination of orange and blueberry, I wondered if I had been the first to put these two fruits together.

After a quick Google search, I found that I was not alone — a plethora of scones, cakes, biscotti and cookies all featured the citrus-berry duo.

I wanted to make this recipe my own, so I created it based on what I know I like about a classic blueberry muffin: It has to be moist, it has to be packed full of berries, and it has to have the raw sugar on top that gives it that satisfying bit of crunch. (Think Dunkin’ Donuts style.)

I added orange zest so you could visibly see the two contrasting colors.

As for the taste, I did both orange juice and orange extract. Extracts are strong in flavor, so add as much or as little based on preference.

When all was baked and done, these muffins came out moist and flavorful.

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Normally, I like baked goods fresh out of the oven, but these muffins were more refreshing when they came down to room temperature and the blueberries were slightly cool.

The orange flavor was definitely apparent and added a complimentary citrus taste that made these muffins interesting.

Most importantly the whole process from preparation to eating took under an hour and is easy enough to make in a dorm kitchen.

Impress your friends on gameday with these spirited and delicious muffins!

Orange & Blueberry Muffins
Original Recipe by Becca Goldring
Makes 18 muffins.

Ingredients:
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 pint blueberries, fresh
Turbinado sugar, for garnish

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, rub orange zest and sugar together with fingers.
3. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, oil, and sugar and zest mixture.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
5. Add orange juice, extracts and honey, beating until well combined.
6. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Alternately incorporate the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the liquid ingredients until smooth.
8. Gently fold in the blueberries.
9. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
10. Top the muffins with turbinado sugar.
11. Bake 20 to 24 minutes, rotating pan halfway, until muffin tops are golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
12. Cool muffins in muffin tin before serving.

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