Oatmeal Orange

My friend Lila of Sweet and Lovely Crafts modified last week’s Oatmeal recipe with some additional spices and a smidge less sugar. You can see her take on it here. I haven’t tried her version yet but it sounds fantastic. I know that Nicole from Cooking in the Boyhouse has been experimenting with vegan versions of some recipes here, too. Please, all of you feel free to share the recipes, tinker with them as you see fit, and post links in the comments to your results if you wish. If you’d like to put any of these recipes on your own blogs feel free; all I ask is that you link back to this blog and give credit to Dorothy!

OK. This week I roped Michael into helping with the muffins, and I learned that my husband is a darling man who will help bake in exchange for being allowed to lick the bowl afterwards. That’s fair.

The recipe

Combine in a small bowl and let sit until all liquid is absorbed

1 cup best-for-baking oats

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup boiling water

Cream together

1/2 cup margarine (regular readers will know I always use butter instead, because butter)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

Add

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

Stir in oats

Add

1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)

Sift together and add to mixture

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Makes 12 large muffins.

The process

The most complicated thing about this recipe was finding the last can of frozen orange juice concentrate in the very back of the freezer and mixing it up. Otherwise, this is a straightforward recipe with no complicated steps. Lots of simple measuring and probably a good one for doing with small children who love to ‘help’ in the kitchen.

The batter had a strange taste; kind of orange, a little, but otherwise a trifle bland. Not unpleasant, but nothing to write home about.

The result

They smelled quite nice while baking. These ones needed the full 20 minutes to bake all the way through, and for some reason mine got a little browner around the edges than I would normally like. (This may be a function of my oven, which irritates me more with each passing week. It heats unevenly and I’m not convinced the temperatures are accurate. Yes, I need an oven thermometer.)

The texture is surprisingly light; usually oatmeal muffins have a bit of heft to them but these just fall apart when you bite them. The citrus is more of an aftertaste than a strong note; adding some orange zest would be a nice touch, I think.

The sweetness is just right, which is a nice change – I have found that a lot of Dorothy’s recipes to date have been almost too sweet for my tastes. After one bite I started wishing for a cup of tea to accompany my snack.

I like last week’s plain Oatmeal better, but these are just fine, and with a few little tweaks could be an excellent breakfast muffin.

Next week

Plain whole wheat. You will need a cup of sour cream – everything else you’ll likely have on hand.

 

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Marmalade

Tonight I made these “marmalade” muffins, and I’ve never come so close to throwing in the towel on this whole project. I spent an hour on these things, and they are pretty much the worst-tasting things ever.

I’ll still record the recipe, because maybe someone is feeling brave and wants to try… but. BUT. Be warned. These are not good and you will shake your fists at the ceiling while screaming “why why whyyyyyy!!!!”

Just go back and make last week’s lemon muffins again.

The recipe

Grind the complete skins of one grapefruit and one orange in a blender with 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk.

[Ed: I’m going to stop right here. The entire skin of a grapefruit. Think about that for a minute. Raw, unprocessed grapefruit peel.)

Add to milk & rind mixture in blender:

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup margarine or 1/4 cup vegetable oil

In large bowl, sift together

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Pour the rind mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to moisten.

Bake at 375F for 20 minutes. While still warm, brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with white sugar.

Makes 15 good-sized muffins.

The process

I’m pretty sure this recipe came with a new blender, because otherwise why would you make it necessary to dirty up a blender just to make a batch of muffins?

Peeling the grapefruit was a giant pain in the ass, because here’s the thing – I HATE GRAPEFRUIT. The smell, the taste… everything. My throat closes over and my tongue burns if I get grapefruit juice (or even a juice blend that includes grapefruit) in my mouth. So this was just wretched.

Once you get the citrus / milk mixture blended, it looks lovely – a deep yellow colour that sucks you into thinking maybe it magically won’t taste like grapefruit once you’ve baked it.

After combining the wet and dry ingredients, let the batter rest for a few minutes so the leavening has time to work with the acid in the buttermilk. You’ll be left with a light, airy batter in a pleasing colour.

Dorothy suggest dipping the muffins in melted butter and then into sugar; it was getting late by the time these finally came out of the oven so I brushed melted butter over the tops and then liberally sprinkled the sugar.

The results

In case it’s not clear to you by now, these muffins are pretty much the worst thing ever. I always taste the batter during these little experiments, and sweet baby jesus – just getting the batter on my tongue actually brought tears to my eyes. There is just… there’s no taste here beyond grapefruit. I guess if you, unlike me, like grapefruit, you might find the notion of grapefruit in muffin form appealing, but since I really do think no one should ever eat grapefruit on purpose – just no.

I can’t bring myself to try the actual finished product because my tongue still feels numb and bitter.

Now, Michael likes grapefruit so I made him try one. And I quote:

“Oh. Oh GOD. It’s like… grapefruit dipped in grapefruit, or something. Oh. That was… wow. Not pleasant.”

BUT HONEY KEEP EATING THERE ARE FOURTEEN MORE MUFFINS.

As I’m writing this, I’m hearing from a few brave souls on Twitter who say they quite like grapefruit. So – please, if you do make these and find them tasty, let the rest of us know.

All joking aside, I’ll bet these would be quite nice if you made them with just orange peel. I may try that sometime if I have oranges just lying around.

Otherwise, I think we can safely put “marmalade muffins” on the no-no pile.

Next week

Oatmeal muffins! I love oatmeal muffins. Dorothy suggests including either dates (maybe you still have some left, like I do) or raisins. Otherwise, you should have everything you need on hand.