Summer dreams and glazed orange muffins.

Brrrrr.

According to my handy iPhone weather feature, Park City is in for four days of clouds, BIG snow, and cold temperatures. Minus 11 degrees on Sunday night? YIKES.

January is tough in the Wasatch Mountains. This time of year, after the joy of a Winter Wonderland Christmas, the SoCal girl in me starts to daydream about flip-flops. Sundresses. Freckles. Tomato sammies. Wildflowers. Al fresco everything.

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My poor, snow-fiend husband. I really should work on being in the moment a bit more.

If you poked your head into my blogland last summer, you’re likely to have seen two things. A dog that dives like an Olympic athlete…

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…And my juicer.

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Simple joys, people. This little gadget changed my LIFE! You think I’m exaggerating, but when one gets hooked on a certain fresh honey-ginger lemonade recipe and makes it, say, twice a week, one starts to despise the pretty little hand-squeezer.

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The juicer was worth the purchase price after the first use.

Each year, John receives a giant box of grapefruit and oranges from his fabulous Aunt BoBo. Each year, half of the juicy fruits go to waste because there are just so many of them. Hmmm.

John’s favorite cocktail is a Screwdriver. This is a job for The Juicer.

My mood elevated to near-bliss as I pulled the juicer down from the cabinet. Oh, my friend. My dear friend. Let’s do this! The plump, vibrant oranges brightened the room and suddenly, it was summer.

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Just like sunshine!

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Fresh-squeezed anything is just…better, isn’t it? The oranges weren’t going to go to waste THIS year! With a glass of juice left, this recipe for Orange Muffins on Annie’s Eats caught my eye. YES.

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The ingredients are what you’d expect when making muffins– plus orange juice, orange zest…oh, and SOUR CREAM. I could already taste the delish sweet/tang combo! I got to zesting and sliced up some fresh orange to munch on. The color inside = AMAZING.

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About this time, I realized I had hardly any all-purpose flour left. I did, however have a big old bag of whole wheat flour. I’d used it when I made these amazing Whole Wheat Cinnamon Apple Muffins, which were scrumptious– so I used it for these muffins, too.

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Into one bowl went the dry stuff: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Into another bowl went the gooey stuff: milk, OJ, sour cream, eggs, melted butter.

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Wet into dry and blend. So easy! The zest of an orange got stirred in, too, adding pretty little bright specks of color in the batter.

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I remember that the apple muffins were a tad on the dense side, and the batter for the orange muffins felt similar. I think it might be the whole wheat flour. I spooned it right into the muffin pan, lined with muffin cups. I had only Christmas-themed muffin liners, but who cares? You peel the paper off to enjoy the muffin ANYWAY.

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See that glop of batter on the tin? That’s actually an excuse to clean it up with my finger and taste the batter. Intentional sloppiness. FAKE WHOOPS.

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Confession: I’m a messy cook.

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The muffins went into a 350 degree oven for about 18 minutes. While they puffed up and became incredible, I whisked up the GLAZE. These muffins NEED the glaze. We all do. It’s simply orange juice, orange zest, and powdered sugar. You might need to add more of either the juice or the sugar, depending on the consistency you like.

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Yes, those are Cheezits in the background. Dance like nobody’s watching. Does that saying apply here? In any case, the white cheddar version is like crack.

When the muffins came out of the oven, they were barely golden brown and crackly on top. Don’t they look amazing and healthy? Let’s cover them in SUGAR.

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My glaze was not very thick, which I liked. A little light bulb went off in my head and I decided to poke the muffins all over with a toothpick and let the glaze seep into the muffin. BRILLIANT.

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Also: how OLD are those toothpicks?

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On cue, John’s trusty aroma-detector (aka his NOSE) led him into the kitchen, so we tasted a warm, glaze-in-the-middle muffin. The texture was on the dense side, but still light and moist. The muffins are barely sweet, but you can taste the orange. The glaze is non-negotiable. It brings the sweetness that the muffins lack and also more of the fresh-squeezed orange flavor.

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So scrumptious! They would be a slightly sweet breakfast, a perfect afternoon snack, or even a late-night munchie.

And way better for you than white cheddar Cheezits.

Orange Muffins (recipe from Annie’s Eats)

For the muffins:

  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 3 ½ flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • zest of one orange

For the glaze:

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, combine milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter. Whisk to blend. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to blend. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Add orange zest and stir.

Divide batter into muffin cups, filling ¾ full. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet.

To make the glaze, combine orange juice, powdered sugar, and orange zest in a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the muffins while they are still warm. (You can poke the muffins with toothpicks and get glaze INSIDE them, if you want to be awesome.) Store in an airtight container. Eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or instead of Cheezits. YUM.

13 replies »

  1. You know, if you add butter to the glaze you have my Grandma’s awesome Orange butter. It’s so yummy on waffles (and by waffles I mean Eggos).

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