Friday, September 1
It's crunchy with millet and cornmeal, it's scented with orange, and it's full of chewy dried cranberries. Muffin, I think I love you.
This recipe is from my favorite cookbook In The Sweet Kitchen. I highly suggest toasting the muffins in the oven if you can't get to them warm out of the oven.
Orange, Dried Cranberry and Cornmeal Muffins with Millet
(Author's Note: I probably make this recipe, exactly as it is here, more often than any other. These muffins became a hit several years ago when my duties as pastry chef at Avalon included baking breakfast pastries for the sister restaurant, Zocalo. After weeks of the entire batch of these disappearing into the hands of the cooks and wait staff before the customers even got to them, the chef insisted everyone eat breakfast at home! They are a great combination of flavors and textures. Cornmeal adds a nutty, toasted flavor; plumped dried cranberries give the muffins a chewy, pleasantly tangy taste; millet adds a subtle sweetness and crunch; and freshly grated orange zest and orange juice lace it all together with a fresh, bright taste. As far as I’m concerned, the perfect muffin!
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole-wheat pastry flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/4 cup millet
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups orange juice
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup dried cranberries, plumped in warm water for 30 minutes if necessary
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 6 large (1-cup) or 12 regular-sized (1/2 cup) muffin tins, including rims, or line with paper liners. I find a non-stick cooking spray works very well. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a large bowl. Add the sugar, cornmeal and millet and stir together with a fork or whisk to blend.
In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then blend in the orange zest and juice and melted butter. Add the egg mixture all at once to the dry ingredients, mixing with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon just until the dry ingredients are moistened. While there are still a few floury patches, gently fold in the cranberries.
Spoon the batter into prepared tins, filling each cup to the rim, and place the try on a baking sheet, to catch any drips. Bake 20 to 25 minutes for regular-sized muffins, 30 to 35 minutes for large ones, or until the tops are golden brown in places, spring back when lightly touched and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer the tray to a rack and cool 5 minutes, then turn the muffins out onto the rack. These are fabulous served warm with a little sweet butter, or may be cooled completely, then wrapped individually and stored at room temperature for up to two days. If they become slightly hard, wrap in foil and warm in a low oven before serving. These muffins also freeze beautifully, for up to 2 months.
Source: In the Sweet Kitchen, Regan Daley
Makes: 6 large or 12 regular muffins