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Orange Date Muffins Tested Recipe

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Orange Date Muffins Recipe

Orange Date Muffins are my idea of the perfect breakfast muffin. One look at the list of ingredients will tell you how rich and satisfying these muffins will be. First off, the dry ingredients include whole wheat flour which because it is milled from the entire whole wheat berry, it still contains its bran (fiber) and its germ (rich in oil, protein, iron and vitamins). We do add some all purpose flour as well, and that is because using the two flours makes for a lighter colored and textured Orange Date Muffin with more rise than if we had used just whole wheat.  

 

Next, the wet ingredients, and here we add the fresh citrus flavor of orange juice and zest (zest being the outer skin of the orange which contains the fruit's flavor and perfume). Buttermilk, and a little melted butter are also used, which gives these muffins their rich and tender crumb. The finishing touch is to add dates and walnuts.

While dates have not been in vogue for quite a few years they are an ancient fruit that provides a high sugar content and are also a good source of protein plus Vitamins A & B. They are native to the Persian Gulf and are the fruit of the palm tree, that grow in large bunches, with each date measuring up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. For this recipe we are using dried pitted dates and I like to buy the ones that are packed in 10 ounce (283 gram) plastic tubs. You can usually find them in the produce section of your grocery store. They will need to be pitted (if necessary) and cut into pieces before adding them to the muffin batter. Along with the dates is the addition of walnuts, and these two ingredients work very well together, with neither one overpowering the other in flavor or texture. When buying unshelled walnuts they should be free of any cracks or holes and the nutmeat should be crisp and meaty. Shriveling of the nutmeat is an indication that the nut is too old. 

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Orange Date Muffins: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Place rack in the middle of the oven. Butter or spray, with a non stick vegetable spray, 12 muffin tins (or line with paper liners).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and orange zest.

In a separate bowl, mix together the orange juice, buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract, and melted and cooled butter.

Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Fold in the dates and walnuts. (Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will be tough when baked.)

Evenly divide the mixture among the 12 muffins cups. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins.

Adapted From:

Sher, Gail. 'From a Baker's Kitchen'. Aris Books. Berkeley: 1984.

Orange Date Muffins:

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flou

1 cup (130 grams) whole wheat flour

2/3 cup (140 grams) light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon grated orange zest (The outer skin of the orange which contains the fruit's flavor and perfume.)

1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh orange juice

2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup (90 grams) chopped dates

2/3 cup (60 grams) walnuts, coarsely chopped

 
 
     
 

 

 

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