My Honey Girl loves a good muffin. Not an oil-oozing, oversized piece of pound cake in a muffin paper. A true muffin. Dainty. Well flavored. Muffin in nature with little relationship to cake. She made these the day she arrived from college for spring break, from a recipe I improvised when she asked for one for an orange muffin with lots of heady orange flavor and some dark chocolate. When she was a wee one she insisted that we call cupcakes muffin cakes, since they were cake baked in a muffin tin and not, as she pointed out correctly, in cups. In fact, she wrote to an editor of the Merriam Webster dictionary to ask that the lexicon be appropriately changed to note this and other important distinctions. Muffins are muffins. Cake is cake. Cupcakes are cake baked in a muffin tin. Muffins should never be cupcakes. And never should they be confused in language or substance. Yup. She had lots of questions and lots of pronouncements when she was four. Well, she always had lots of questions. And we were so happy, tracking down answers (and more questions) at the library and over muffins and a glass of cold milk. Now that she’s almost grown up, it’s muffins and a cup of black tea with milk, and more questions, of course. She’s a curious pickle. And we love her for it.
Before you have a stroke at the yield of this recipe, bear with me. I have a recipe, which I’ll post tomorrow, for your leftover muffins, which is pretty heavenly, this one for our Sweet Boy.
Orange Chocolate Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins (Fear not, I have a recipe for your leftover muffins coming tomorrow!)
½ c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. unsweetened applesauce
the zest of one large orange, grated finely
2 T. orange juice, squeezed from the same orange
1 c. sour cream
3 c. all purpose flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
dark chocolate morsels or chunks to taste, about 1 ½ c.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and place 24 muffin papers into 2 muffin tins.
- In a medium bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars.
- Add the applesauce and mix thoroughly.
- Add the eggs and mix well.
- Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and add the orange zest and juice and the sour cream. Mix well.
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and mix only until incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Add the dark chocolate morsels or chunks and mix briefly.
- Divide the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown and spring back slightly when gently pressed in the center.
Recipe for homemade cultured butter here.