Orange Cream Cheese Muffins

27 07 2011

I always end up spreading my muffin batter amongst too many tins and ending up with lil’ dinky muffs. When instead, I should probably just make like 6 mondo muffs. In this case though, I’m glad they’re a little bit smaller, because these guys are less muffins and more like cake. Moist, dense, melt in your mouth cake muffins. They’d be perfect with a white icing or cream cheese frosting on top.

And lets get it out of the way and talk some food science here for a sec. Room temperature eggs. Gotta have ’em, though it’s something I forget to do all the time. When making a batter, you’re creating an emulsion by creaming the fats with the sugars and then adding the eggs. Fats and liquids are essential unmixable so you need to create a water-in-fat emulsion. If cold eggs are used in a room temp batter, you can curdle the batter or cause it to be too liquid-y; the emulsion breaks. And as a result, flat, dry, flavorless baked goodies. Room temp, people. Plan ahead or your treats are facing certain DOOM.

Orange Cream Cheese Muffins
Adapted from eat me, delicious

1 large navel orange; zest, peel, keeping the pith, break into 6-8 pieces
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature, broken into 4 pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 375. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin tins/paper. (My muffins came out a little bit small when I divided the batter into 12. Next time I would make between 6-8 big ass muffs)

In a food processor, grate the orange then add the cream cheese and process in 3 10-second intervals, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each buzz.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cut the butter into 1-in. pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the machine and add the orange/cream cheese mixture, then mix for another 1 minute. Add the sugar in a steady stream. Then blend in the eggs, yolk and vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing until just blended after each addition.

Pour into lined muffin tins and sprinkle the top of each muffin with some sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown and springy to the touch. To ensure even baking, towards the end of the time, rotate the pan from top to bottom and front to back. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool.

Banana Almond-Butter Muffins

7 10 2010

I’m impartial to muffins. Really, I don’t care. Maybe because I was raised in a house where muffins appeared twice a year, if we’re lucky, in blueberry form, from a pouch of muffin mix. We don’t celebrate the muffin or sing the muffin electric. So I do believe, this may have been the first time that I’ve ever had the inclination to say out loud at around 10 pm on a Monday night, “Hey! … I’m gonna bake some muffins.”

I browsed through one of my favorite food sites, eat me, delicious and found something with ingredients I had and something sort of autumn-y; Banana Peanut Butter Muffins. I changed the recipe around a little bit and used almond butter instead, threw in some chopped walnuts, and some ground golden flaxseed, just because it was there. I baked them, and I guess I can say, I’m still not celebrating muffin-dom. It’s going to take a whole lot more baking to make me feel at ease with them, but I like these. They’re not too sweet, which makes them more accessible. I feel good and healthy when I eat one for breakfast or snatch one up as a snack before work. A good rustic muffin. I’m satisfied 🙂

Banana Almond-Butter Oatmeal Muffins
Adapted from eat me, delicious

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium-sized bananas)
1/2 cup natural almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 cup buttermilk (or make your own with 1 cup milk and 1 tb. white vinegar)
1 tb. ground flaxseed (optional)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, mashed banana, almond butter, flaxseed, walnuts, and buttermilk until very smooth, making sure all egg has been well-incorporated. Pour into flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.

Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tin, filling each just about up to the top.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack.