Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Orange Sour Cream Muffins

What a week this has been. I threw my "Luxury Dinner Party" in anticipation of Round 3 of Project Food Blog only to learn that there would be no Round 3 for the likes of me. While it was lovely to enjoy a meal with our friends Nora and Larry, I could have had them over and prepared something more my "style" for a good deal less money than was spent on this Project Food Blog nonsense. I have to say I am put out a bit with the folks over there because they urged everyone to "get ahead" and "not wait to the last minute" to find out if they'd advanced. I, honestly, think they could have structured their contest a little better so that people had time to find out if they had moved on before having to go out and shop for an upcoming challenge. Then again, maybe I'm the only person who participated who isn't independently wealthy and lives like Martha Stewart or Ina Garten.

Anyway, after working on that meal, I was exhausted on Friday. As one of those lovely results of being so ill a few years ago, I have Osteoporosis. I also am an inch shorter than I used to be because all but 2 of my vertebra have cracks in them. Thus, making a big meal under stress can take a lot out of me. I was in excruciating pain most of the day on Friday when I should have been finishing my baking for "Feeding the Homeless." Needless to say, no baking got done as I rested up and popped Tylenol.

Intending to bake for Karin's project first thing on Saturday turned out to be impossible. I have come to find that the heat in Arizona plays havoc with car batteries. Sure enough, our battery decided to give up the ghost which meant a replacement on Saturday. Thus, I didn't get the baking done nor the few things I'd already prepared earlier in the week to Karin before she left for the parks on Saturday afternoon.

Honestly, that made me feel even worse about taking part in Project Food Blog because Karin called me on Tuesday and asked if I'd like her to drop by to pick up the treats since she was going out for a birthday dinner in our neighborhood (Happy Birthday, dear!). Unfortunately, I was in the midst of the "Luxury Dinner" preparations and only had a few treats done, so I told her not to worry I'd get the rest done after the party and bring them all to her. So, the homeless folks ended up with nothing thanks to PFB. Ugh!

Saturday afternoon, after all had settled down, I'd missed my deadline for Karin, the skies had clouded up and begun to rain, and the wind began to howl so I decided to make some comfort food. I quickly threw together a batch of Orange Sour Cream Muffins to cheer myself and regroup to begin anew next week. These are really good, with a nice orange flavor rounded out by the tang of sour cream and a little hit of rum flavor. Topped with butter and sugar, they're just decadent enough to lift the spirits on a dreary Fall day.

 I settled in with a glass of cold chocolate milk, my Orange Sour Cream Muffin, a football game on the TV and a new pledge in my heart.  No more contests for they only interfere with what is really important: doing what you love, helping others, and enjoying friends and family.

1/2 cup sugar
6 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
zest of one orange, finely grated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/4 tsp. orange extract
1/4 tsp. rum extract
1/4 cup sugar (for topping)
1 tbs. butter, melted (for topping)

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease muffin tin.

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Mix together orange juice, orange extract and rum extract in measuring cup.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and sour cream until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. Add orange zest and mix.

Alternate flour and orange juice mixtures in thirds, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula and make sure all ingredients are well incorporated.

Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes until tops are lightly browned and cake tester inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from tins and allow to cool until just warm.

Melt 1 tbs. of butter and brush top of each muffin with butter. Place 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl and roll each muffin top in sugar.
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