Callie’s Cabin: Breakfast muffins with a twist (recipe)
Welcome to the muffin. New York is known for an apple muffin whereas California, thanks to our orange groves, should be touted for its orange muffin. Muffins are similar to cupcakes in the way you bake them. However, muffins are often less sweet and can do well on their own without fancy frosting. You can find muffins at our local bakeries, grocery stories or you can make them yourself in the kitchen at night when it’s cool.
Four and a half years ago, I recall awakening early in the morning. My mission was to go to Sacramento to pick up a new addition to my family. Not a big breakfast person, I stopped en route at a convenient store and purchased a packaged muffin. While it stopped my stomach from growling, a home baked muffin would have been, well, special to savor on this special trip. Upon arrival I met an elderly woman. She handed me a wake-up gift.
“How adorable,” I exclaimed. My arms were full of a 12-pound fur ball — an Australian shepherd 10-week-old puppy complete with puppy breath. And we traveled back home to the Sierra.
This week when I brewed a cup of coffee and teamed it with an orange muffin I made the night before, I took the two treats back to bed (a ritual I love). Turning on the TV for “CBS This Morning,” I looked to the right of me. A full grown Aussie with amber eyes met my eyes. It was a perfect breakfast with my soulmate with paws.
Welcome to my breakfast muffin recipe. I love self-rising flour (no need for baking powder or baking soda). Using fresh fruit, organic milk and simple ingredients without artificial preservatives is the way to do it when you live in the mountains.
Orange Breakfast Muffins
1 large orange, (cut in half and use ½ cup juice)
½ cup organic 2 percent low-fat milk
½ cup European style butter (melted)
½ cup sugar (you can use ¼ cup if preferred)
1 large brown egg
1 capful pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup self-rising flour
2-3 teaspoons orange rind
Raw or confectioners’ sugar
Mint leaves (for garnish)
In a large bowl, stir together juice and milk. Add butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, stir well. Stir in flour and orange rind until smooth without lump. Fill muffin cups ⅔ full with batter. Bake 20 minutes or until tops are light golden brown and firm to touch. Remove from pan. Sprinkle muffin tops with sugar. Garnish with mint leaves. Serve warm or cool. Makes 10.
*You can remove muffin wrappers for nice look. Breakfast muffins store well in an airtight container.
A bonus: This recipe is quick and easy to make. The fresh muffin flavor is subtle but the citrus taste is detectable. Texture-wise they are light not dense. You can dress them up with a vanilla glaze or cut the muffins in half and spread with honey or cream cheese. These orange muffins pair well with eggs and bacon. Make this recipe the night before to enjoy the morning for a sweet wake-up treat for you and yours indoors and outdoors.
Motto: Nature’s finest foods, like companion animals, are good for the body, mind and spirit.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.