Muffins are so easy to make that even the novice cook can quickly mix up a batch from scratch and expect good results. There are two techniques for making muffins. The traditional way is to mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the liquid ingredients in another. If you are using butter, it should be melted and added to the other liquid ingredients. The two mixtures are combined and stirred only until the dry ingredients are moistened. It is very important with this method that you don't overmix the batter. Doing so will result in a tough muffin.
The other method could be called the "cake" method because the sugar and fat are creamed together much in the same way as you do when making a cake. The fat can be butter, margarine, or shortening and it doesn't have to be melted when using this method. This is a little more time-consuming, but you don't have to worry about overmixing.
I haven't made homemade muffins in quite a while so I decided to see if I could come up with a new version. The combination of oranges and cream came to mind. One ingredient that I was sure that I wanted to use was whipping cream. I have found that muffins made with whipping cream have a feather-like texture on the inside. There is no need to add any type of fat such as butter, margarine, oil, etc. when you use whipping cream because the cream is at least one-third fat.
I wanted a natural flavor in the muffins so I chose to use fresh orange juice and grated orange rind. To enhance the flavor just a little more, I did opt for a small amount of pure orange extract. The traditional method of mixing was used for this batch.
If you would like to add your own creative touch, you could add some toasted coconut in the dry ingredient mixture. You might want to add a little coconut flavoring. Cranberries are a great partner for oranges, so you could stir in some dried cranberries.
The ambrosia butter is a perfect flavor partner for these new muffins.
Orange Cream Muffins
2 cups self-rising flour
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 egg, slightly beaten
¾ cup whipping cream
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ teaspoon pure orange extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400. Coat the muffin tins with cooking spray. In one bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and orange rind. Stir to mix. In another bowl, combine the egg, whipping cream, orange juice, and extracts. When the orange juice is added, the mixture might seem a little curdled but that's OK. Combine the two mixtures and stir until mixed. Don't beat the batter because you don't want to overmix it. Spoon into muffin tins, filling each section about ⅔ full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of muffin. Remove from pan onto rack. Good served hot from the oven or at room temperature. Makes 10 muffins.
¼ cup coconut
½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
¼ teaspoon coconut flavoring
¼ teaspoon orange flavoring
Process the coconut in food processor until very fine. Combine butter, confectioners' sugar, and flavorings. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in coconut.