I came across an old cookbook of my mom’s, hidden away in a kitchen cupboard. “Muffins” by Elizabeth Alston. I love this cookbook. I love it for how the pages are still dog eared, marking my mom’s favorite muffin recipes. I love how it has notations in pencil from my mom, indicating changes to the recipes. Usually things like, “Double the chocolate!!!!” or “Add streusel topping!!!”. I love how it brings me back to high school. I had a few extra curricular things going on back then, and would leave the house by 5:30 (in the morning, people!) and then swing by again at 6:45 before heading back to school at 7:15. My mom would wake up and make muffins for me every morning, so when I had a few minutes between 7 & 7:15 I’d gather up a few, sit down to read USA Today, and then run back out the door with a quick, “Thanks! Bye!”
I appreciated those muffins back then, but now I adore the memory of a warm house filled with the aroma of mom’s homemade muffins. So, of course, now I bake them for my kids. Currently, our favorite is the Chocolate Orange muffins.
QUICK AND EASY RECIPE–12 regular or 36 mini muffins.
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (mini or regular)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
Heat over to 375. Grease muffin cups or use foil baking cups.
Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add yogurt, orange juice, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix very well. Batter will be quite liquid!
Sprinkle flour, then chocolate chips, over batter. Fold gently, just enough to blend in flour.
Scoop batter into muffin cups. Bake 15-25 minutes, or until golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn out onto a rack to cool.
If you have more time, here’s a few things to take these muffins from wonderful to divine.
*Take 2 medium oranges. Finely grate the orange peel. Add this into the mix after the eggs.
*Take those same oranges and squeeze their juice into a measuring cup. Usually, I get about 1/2 cup OJ that I use in place of store bought juice. Mmmmm!
*Buy a fantastically expensive deluxe chocolate bar of your choice. Dark, milk, bitter…whatever floats your boat. Chop it up into chunks and add in place of chocolate chips. Prepare to be thrown into Chocolate Orange ecstasy.
When I make these, I do a triple batch. One batch is to be eaten immediately, as the kids come crawling out of the woodwork going, “Is that a muffin I smell? Are they ready? CanIHaveSomeRightNow?” followed shortly by, “You are the best cook in the world!”. Another batch I put in the fridge to be eaten the rest of the week. The third batch I freeze and save for another time.
I’m telling you, these things are magical. I mean, it’s not like I don’t cook 3 meals and make countless snacks during the day for my kids. But when I make these muffins, it’s different. I get thanked over and over, and lots of affirmations on my mothering & cooking skills. So when you make these, come back and tell me how it went and how often your kids gave you extra hugs & kisses.
Filed under: Sometimes I Cook!