Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Teatime Treat: Glazed Buttermilk Orange Donut Muffins

When I was little and we went to the donut shop, I would pick the biggest donut I could find to order.  Often I would have an apple fritter, or (my still personal favourite) a walnut crunch, but sometimes it would be an orange or cherry blossom stick.  Frankly, it was pure greed; but I developed a love of cake donuts as a result.
Fast forward to today:  I don't have donuts often anymore.  J's buying me a Keurig for Christmas means that I don't need a Timmy's fix on a regular basis.  Perhaps it's a good thing that I don't have donuts often, but I still like them. 
While cruising Pinterest, I found this recipe for muffins that used buttermilk.  I'm working on using up a liter of buttermilk, so I thought that this would work.  I also saw it as a way to relive my childhood.  I present to you now Our Best Bites' Buttermilk orange Donut Muffins:

For the Muffins
1/4 c butter, softened
1/4 c oil
1/2 c white sugar
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
Zest of 1 orange (most of it.  Reserve some for the glaze)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2-2/3 c all purpose flour
1 c buttermilk

1.  Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line 2 muffin tins with liners (I ultimately used easy release liners which turned out to be a blessing in disguise).  I got 16 muffins.  Zest the orange, setting aside some of the zest for the glaze.  Reserve the orange itself for the glaze as well.
2.  Cream sugars, butter and oil until smooth.  Add eggs and zest and beat until smooth.  Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla and beat well.  Add flour in 3 stages, alternating with the buttermilk, stirring until just combined. 
3.  Scoop into muffin liners and bake 15 minutes until golden.  Remove from pans and cool completely.

For the Glaze
1 c icing sugar
 Reserved zest of orange
2-3 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice

1.  In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and the orange zest. 
2.  Squeeze the orange for the juice.  Scrape the reamer so that the pulp is a part of the juice. 
3.  Add 2 tbsp of the juice to the sugar, stirring to combine.  Add the third tablespoon slowly, just until the glaze is thin enough to pour, but not loose.
4.  Dip the cooled muffins in the glaze, ensuring the top is fully covered.  Let dry on a wire rack.
From Our Best Bites, with a glaze adapted by me

I heart my microplane.  It makes zesting citrus so simple.  I also think I get a lot more zest than any other way of trying to get at it.  I used about half in the muffins and half in the glaze.
It was at about this point that I realized that I needed to do something with the innards of the orange.  I didn't really want it to eat, so I decided to juice it and make glaze with the juice instead of the glaze in the original recipe.  This whole process smelled amazing.  I scraped all the pulp into the juice that I reserved too.
I used 2 muffin trays, so I made 8 per tray.  I'm not quite convinced that 15 minutes at 425 was the best, seeing as they were *really* brown when I took the muffins out.  Maybe a little longer and little cooler?
I tried to get lots of pulp into the glaze.  The nice thing at the end of the whole process was the juice that was leftover.  It was only a mouthful, but it was fresh squeezed OJ.  How could that be bad?
I don't think these should really be called muffins.  They're more cupcakes.  But they are subtly orange, and totally delicious.

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