Sunny orange juice and zest, sweet dates, and a splash of olive oil make these muffins a treat made from things my grandma could have found in her pantry
This week I am in Florida, watching my son's high school marching band parade down Disney's Main Street and enjoying some warmth and sunshine. I thought a good theme for the week would be recipes featuring oranges, so I'm calling this week HashtagOrangeWeek. See, the oranges I'm using came direct from Florida as part of the Band Fruit Fundraiser (link to my round up of 156 fruit-filled recipes from 66 bloggers). Why was the band fundraising? To go to Disney and march down Main Street . . .
Today I'm sharing muffins, because it's a Monday and I like to share muffin recipes on Mondays. That whole alliteration thing. Wednesday I'm sharing Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Secret Ingredient Cookies, and Friday I've got an Orange and Pepperoni Pizza. If you are in a cold area, I can't bring you warmth but I can share some sunny citrus. [And rub it in, a wee bit.]
You ever do something just for yourself? I made these muffins just for me. Normally I make muffins for the kids' breakfast or after school snack, or to bring to a function, or--rarely--to eat with dinner.
Not this time. Not these muffins.
I had a hankering for Orange Date Muffins even though I'd never tried them. Probably due to repeated exposures to the Orange Date Muffin recipe page in Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link) written by friends of my mom. Every time I'd read the recipe over the years, though, I was missing some vital ingredient [like oranges or dates]. Since the Band Fruit Fundraiser Citrus Recipe Round Up, though, I've had cases of citrus at the ready, and as it is sled hockey season I have been to Costco and have dates aplenty.
I riffed, a lot, from the recipe--I don't think with oranges and dates much extra sweetness is needed--so I skipped the sweetening. Initially. At the last minute I worried that my other Big Change, olive oil for the fat, would be too . . . . savory, so I added a tablespoon of honey to the batter all the same. Served warm with a bit of buttery spread, this muffin is light, cake-like, and divine. I've made a vegan version of these muffins, too--substituting flax meal and water for the egg, and using molasses in place of the honey. Also delicious.
Orange Date Olive Oil Muffins (adapted from Muffins: A Cookbook)2 juice oranges, peeled (I used Hamlin)
15 pitted dates (about ½ to ⅔ cup)
1 egg (I've also made these with flax meal and water in place of egg)
3 ounces olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey (I've made these with molasses in place of honey)
1 cup (4 ¼ ounces by weight) unbleached all purpose flour
½ cup (2 ounces by weight) whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 12 cup standard muffin pan (or line with paper cups). Place oranges and dates in a blender and blend until finely chopped. Add egg, olive oil, and honey to the blender and blend thoroughly. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Pour contents of blender into the bowl and stir until just combined. Scoop** (I love using scoops for muffins and cookies, this is an Amazon affiliate link) into muffin pan and bake for 15 minutes, until tops are lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling or just eat.
|Bake vegan mini muffins for 12 minutes at 400 degrees to give to your neighbors for treats.|
**My scoop holds 3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) by volume, though the muffin batter is mounded in the scoop so I'm pretty sure I'm putting a good 3 ½ to 4 Tablespoons into each muffin well. The muffin wells in my regular muffin pans each hold 3 ounces by volume.