Just as I (and likely the majority of you) go pumpkin-crazy in October, my tastes shift towards mint when the holiday season rolls around. Despite the traditional candy canes and peppermint stick ice cream I enjoy, an orange-chocolate craving always hangs around during mint season. I am sure this is a carry over from the first slice of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange I ate many years ago.
The flavor in that candy is primarily chocolate with a taste of orange. These muffins do a reverse take by adding a sprinkling of chocolate chips to an orange muffin. The crumb is fairly light and cake-like with a subtle orange flavor. It works well with the chocolate, but honestly, I rate these muffins just okay. I wanted a pronounced orange flavor the muffins simply did not impart on their own. I added the glaze simply to get some more orange flavor, not necessarily to add sweetness.
Despite this slight disappointment, the orange chocolate muffins make for a nice change to the standard blueberry, banana nut and cinnamon streusel rotation. They add a bit of lightness to an otherwise cold and dreary winter day. And I suspect we all could use a bit of light right now. Peace.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1⅔ cups milk
- ⅓ cup oil
- 1 large orange, juiced and zested
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Optional Glaze
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine the milk, oil, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla.
- Pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined, then repeat with the remaining dry ingredients.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.*
- Pour the batter into the paper-lined wells of a muffin tin.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- When the muffins are cool, dip their tops in a glaze if desired. To make the glaze, simply stir together one cup of confectioners' sugar and two tablespoons of orange juice. Adjust the ingredients as needed to create a thicker or thinner consistency.