If you are here for the scintillating conversation, friends, I am sadly going to disappoint you today. I am having a mad case of writer’s block. But if you are here for the muffins, well, in that case I will surely knock your socks off, or slippers, or flip flops, whatever is on your feet; they are going to be flying right off of ’em. Because these muffins deserve a much heftier and blingier title than “muffin”. The term muffin seems to yawn banal or scream cloyingly sweet. These brightly flavored orange and rosemary muffins are none of the above.
These muffins are just a smidgen tart, so citrus-y (orange zest, orange juice and orange extract), and the herbaceous notes from the rosemary and cardamom make your taste buds literally dance and sing. Mine were annoyingly blurting out, “I’m A Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. I’m strange and I have no other explanation.
These muffins also have a nice soft texture but a perfect crunch from the toasted almonds and Turbinado sugar. If you truly want to try to start your morning off right, throw in a batch of these. And when you bite into one, let me know what tune your mouth is singing. Let’s hope it’s better than mine.
—By the way…this muffin recipe was entirely created from my “Invent your own muffin” post where I have a formula type of recipe that works for any combination of flavors that you have in your crazy brain. I have never had this formula fail me and I’ve made oodles of different combos so take a look and invent your own.
Orange and Rosemary Muffins with Crunchy Almond Tops
An S&C Original Recipe
Makes one dozen muffins
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. almond flour (or wheat or more all purpose flour)
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 T. finely chopped FRESH rosemary
1/4 t. of either cardamom,
1/2 c. sugar (these are slightly tart muffins…if you like things sweeter and 1/4 c. additionally)
1/2 c. buttermilk or low-fat milk,
1/2 c. orange juice
1 T. orange zest (orange skin only, not the white pithe)
1/4 t. natural orange extract (if you have it…otherwise just leave it out)
1/4 c canola oil
1/3 c. of toasted sliced almonds
1/4 c. of Turbinado sugar or granulated sugar
To make the muffins: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners. In a large bowl whisk together flours through sugar.
Then, in a medium-sized bowl or extra large liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk through the Canola oil and beat with a whisk. Add half of the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber scraper. No more whisking once you combine the liquid with the dry…otherwise more gluten forms and your muffins will be tougher instead of light and airy. Stir in the rest of the liquids and stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
To scoop the batter into the liners, I like to use a large ice cream scoop. This works perfectly and is quick and neat. Top each muffin with a large pinch of almonds and a small pinch of the sugar. Bake for 17-22 minutes depending on your oven. Muffins should be slightly firm to the touch and springy.