Back when I made a few holiday shopping suggestions for you, I mentioned that everyone loves a chocolate orange in their stocking. Mr. P and I sure did this year.
So it’s kinda nuts that I pinned this recipe for chocolate orange muffins ages ago and never made them. Even more crazy because they are pretty dang simple to make, and require little more than pantry ingredients (only because usually I don’t have oranges around). But now that I’ve made them, it might be like Christmas morning all the time around here, especially when I’m expecting guests! Let’s do this thing.
Start by zesting an orange. You’ll only need the zest for this recipe – I debated trying to squeeze in a bit of juice, but trust me, you won’t need it.
Add 1/3 cup of white sugar and mix. Shawnda mentions working it with her fingers, but I just mashed it together with a spoon because I am prissy about getting stuff under my fingernails.
After a few minutes it’ll be all fragrant and orange and fluffy! Who knew the sugar would take to that so well? Also, who thinks orange sugar would make an amazing Christmas gift?! Filing that away for future reference.
Next, cream together the orange sugar with five tablespoons of softened, salted butter. I might have over-softened mine (i.e. microwaved a tad too long)... it’s okay. We’re cool.
Then eggs! Well, egg. You need just one. Then a half-teaspoon of vanilla, and then the low volume dry ingredients: 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda. Add and mix!
Now add the flour (1 1/2 cup total) and sour cream (3/4 cup total), alternating between the two while mixing. I added the flour a half-cup at a time and sour cream a quarter-cup at a time, three times over, mixing after each.
Oh and PS, if you have to pause and nurse a fussy infant a few times during these steps, your muffins will not be ruined. We keep it foolproof – or baby-proof – around here.
Once all the flour and sour cream are added, mix in 6 oz. (half a bag) of chocolate chips. Note that the batter is VERY thick at this point – more like a dough than a batter!
After the chips are incorporated throughout, do your best to evenly distribute the thick batter into a greased muffin tin. Since I halved the original source that makes 18 muffins, I should have had 9... but my love for giant muffins meant I made 8 instead. You could reasonably get a dozen smaller muffins out of a half-batch, though – mine were huge!
Pop the pan in a preheated 400-degree oven and set the timer for eight minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the oven down to 375, and let the muffins bake an additional 10-12 minutes. Mine went over 12 because I made ‘em big. Even then, the tops never did really turn golden brown, though a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean. But they were done, and still a sight to behold!
And a taste to die for, in a fluffy yet filling muffin. It’s like having a chocolate orange for breakfast! Forget that new year’s diet and make these on your next wintry weekend. That’ll make a good start to 2015! Enjoy!