Driving back from school this morning, I had a hankering for a nice fresh coffee and a muffin. It's a golden time of the day after I get the girls successfully launched off to school, and I feel the need for a leisurely caffeine fix. Frugal instincts kicked in, however, and I thought "Why spend money on a fat-packed muffin and a coffee at a fast-food joint when I could make one at home for free?"
Indeed. Then it occurred to me that when packing for our move, I had tossed all of our ratty old muffin tins and had not gotten around to buying new ones yet. So I popped into a large store which shall remain nameless but by its very existence encourages us all to spend funds on more stuff than we ever need. And then it all went something like this...
You can see where this is going, right?
THIS is how we end up spending money and are not sure where it all went at the end of the week. About $49 later I exit the store and stand outside the doors, feeling slightly baffled, somewhat guilty and really, really wanting a muffin. It had better be the best damn muffin I have ever eaten.
Orange Date Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use half whole-wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (skip if you use salted butter)
1/4 cup bran (you can also sprinkle in some flax seed)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sour cream
grated zest of 1 large orange
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup coarsely chopped dates
1/4 cup or so raisins
Of course the recipe doesn't call for buttermilk, but I had to justify buying the buttermilk so I soaked the dates and raisins in about 1/2 cup buttermilk to soften them, then threw the whole thing in at the end.
Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt if using.
Cream sugar and butter, then add egg, sour cream, orange zest and juice. Throw dry ingredients, fruit and buttermilk in and mix with a wooden spoon until well moistened. Try not to snap the handle off the wooden spoon as I did. It's almost impossible to mess up muffins, but the spoon is wrecked.
Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, though I found that was a BIT too long. Until golden brown anyhow, and less for the mini muffins. Made 12 full-size muffins and 1/2 doz minis.
They are indeed quite fabulous as muffins go. Went down a treat with my coffee.
|Orange date muffins. Really, really good. Worth $49.|