I love everything and anything orange. It’s my favorite color. My favorite flavor. My favorite scent. I love it so much so that I can even be found popping up in an orange juice commercial for about 3 seconds. If you see an ad for Florida’s Orange Juice, don’t blink, you’ll see me!
So, when I opened up Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook and found Marmalade Muffins, I nearly fell off the bar stool in my kitchen I was so excited. Pairing my favorite flavor with a sweet morning breakfast treat … now THAT’s a happy moment. Pioneer Woman is pretty much a household name in any food bloggie’s world, but for those of you that have not yet had the delightful opportunity, click here for an introduction. PW is one of the first blogs I ever read (if not THE first blog) and I always find her writing makes me smile. I had the awesome opportunity to meet her live and in person at the BlogHer Food party in San Fran during our recent trip to the west coast. Her new cookbook was a gift to attendees and between BlogHer and driving through Napa my waistline has grown at least an inch since that trip. Good thing I’ve got marathon training to slim it down again!
What was I saying before that long tangent and reminiscing about San Fran? Ah ha! Back to the orange muffins … I was all ready to make them that very instant until I read an ingredient that I never keep in the house … buttermilk. I had a bad experience with it as a child. When I was a little girl, I used to love drinking my grandmother’s coffee cream. She would keep it in a little tin creamer jar in the refrigerator and I would always sneak in a sip or two off the refreshing cold spout. That is … until she discovered what I was doing and realized my little 4 year old lips had inadvertently graced every single cup of coffee poured in the house! Then she started putting the little tin creamer just out of my reach. I thought I had outsmarted her once when I found what I thought was cream, but then took a big swig of buttermilk. BLAAAAH! After that, until I out grew my cream addiction, I only drank cream from the individual plastic thimble-sized versions in restaurants.
So, needless to say, buttermilk has never been a staple item in my refrigerator. Now, Ree includes instructions for how to “make” buttermilk, or a substitute if you don’t have it. But I thought it was time I made amends. Besides, I needed to get some fresh oranges.
Florida navel oranges are what’s in season, and if you’ve never had a navel orange allow me to introduce you.
Some have “innies”
Some have “outties”
(And this one has a honker of one for sure.)
And that’s why they call them “navel.”
You’ll notice that they’re a little blemished. Florida oranges usually are. But what they lack in exterior skin perfection on the outside compared to their California cousins, they more than make up for inside with juicy sweetness.
While my grandmother was over at my house teaching me how to make Rhubarb Jam, we made a batch of these muffins too.
Here we go, starting with blending together the butter and sugar. Nearly all of PW’s recipes have butter in them. Quite frankly, I don’t know how she stays so fit and trim. But she does live on a ranch and has 4 kids to raise … so I imagine there is a lot of calorie burning opportunities there.
Now, just because they’re described as “mini” muffins doesn’t mean I had to pull out such a small bowl. I probably just pulled it out of the cabinet because it was orange. Sheesh. Have to transfer to something larger. My grandmother is shaking her head giggling at me at this point and mouthing off some thing in French I can’t understand. :oP
We mixed together the dry ingredients …
Added the buttermilk and other wet ingredients …
Zested up some navels …
I’ve never worked with batter so “fluffy” before. It’s light and whipped and soft and creamy. I’ll have to try buttermilk in place of regular milk in some other recipes now too!
My grandmother couldn’t help taking a taste … caught orange handed!
Now, since PW made mini muffins, I thought I’d try out a new iron pan that my mom gave me over a YEAR ago! Now so new, huh?
They look delish, but my grandmother shook her head and said, “Rachelle, there is too much in those.” I thought, how could a tablespoon of batter possibly be “too much?” She was right though. They sort of exploded into a gigantic pancake completely covering the pan and dripping over onto the bottom of my stove. Thank goodness I had a cookie sheet there to catch the drippings!
So, we poured another batch in regular muffin cups and THOSE turned out delish!
Drizzled on top is a quick and easy topping of orange juice and brown sugar. Next time though, I think I’ll try this citrus glaze that I used on scones before. After all, you can never have enough orange!
In case you were wondering if you’ve ever seen me blip across your tube in an OJ commercial … here’s photographic evidence! Just please don’t associate me with flu season. LOL!
This is me with Dave. And yes, he’s a real live bonafide Florida citrus grower. SERIOUSLY!
And there’s me. In my orange shirt. Told you I love the color. But if I ever dye my hair carrot red/orange please tie me up and smack me silly.
Here’s the scoop for PW’s Marmalade Muffins! I cant’ wait to try the other comfort food yummies she has in her book. Yum!
Marmalade Muffin’s from Pioneer Woman Cooks
2 sticks of butter, sorftened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1) Grate the zest from both oranges.
2) Mix the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until creamy.
3) Crack in the eggs and mix until well combined.
4) Sift and add your flour into the bowl and stir together using as few strokes as possible so the muffins aren’t tough.
5) In a small cup or bowl, combine the buttermilk and baking soda.
6) Add the buttermilk mixture to the muffin batter and mix until just combined.
7) Add the zest and mix until combined.
8) Grease 24 mini muffin tins (or 12 regular muffin tins) and fill 2/3’s full with muffin batter.
9) Make for 12 to 17 minutes until golden brown.
10) While muffins are baking, prepare the glaze. Juice the 2 oranges and add to the brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until combined but don’t worry about dissolving the sugar completely so that it will give it a grainy texture.
11) Drizzle the glaze over the muffins as soon as they’re done.
Oooh and Aaaah.