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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Orange Ricotta Muffins (Two Ways)

Here's a word I don't use too often, because it's goofy and pathetically lacking in sophistication, but in this case, remarkably appropriate: Nummers.

Last week, on Monday morning, we were rudely awoken at 5 a.m. by an automated mass text: school was cancelled.  What?!  I jumped out of bed and looked outside to see if it had unexpectedly snowed.  Nope, looked normal.  We scanned the weather apps, and apparently there was freezing rain and ice.  So we settled back in for another hour or two of sleep.  

I always crave snow days, but I guess an ice day is almost as good.  No snow to play in, but we still get to lay back, eat leisurely, stay in PJ's, play, read, draw, and relax.  It was a great day to make these muffins my friend had just told me about.
The original recipe, from Two Peas & Their Pod, uses regular chocolate chips.  I doubled the recipe, and on my friend's recommendation, put blueberries in half, and mini chips in the other.  Both were totally nummers.  My kids preferred the blueberry; I probably preferred the chocolate, because I am genetically inclined to do so.    
My favorite part of making these, is Step 2, when you rub the orange zest and sugar together with your fingers.  Not only is it sensory therapy - like running beach sand through your hands, but sand that smells like bright, fresh, sweet orange - but it also provides the best finger-licking possible in the entire world of baking.

Orange Ricotta Muffins (Two Ways) (print recipe)
Makes 12 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries -OR- chocolate chips (I prefer mini)

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, add the sugar and orange zest. Rub the orange zest and sugar together with your fingers.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar and orange zest mixture together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg, orange juice, and vanilla extract.

4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended, still with a streak or two of flour. Gently fold in the blueberries or chocolate chips.  Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.

5. Bake muffins for about 18-22 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown. Let muffins cool completely.

6. While the muffins are cooking, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice. Drizzle glaze over muffins. Let the muffins sit until glaze hardens.
Recipe adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

1 year ago:  Red Hot Cinnamon Bread
2 years ago:  Dessert Club - Breads & Spreads
3 years ago:  Blackout Cake

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