Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Midnight Muffin Madness III

Round 3 of Midnight Muffin Madness was an unexpected surprise for my DH.  Tomorrow he won't be gifting them to the usual "Other People", so he didn't think that I would make them.  But I just couldn't help myself - it's the madness of the muffins that drove me to it.

These Orange Cinnamon Streusel muffins were super fast - and since I had almost all of the ingredients in the pantry, it was super easy too.

The wet:  2/3 cup melted butter, 1 cup melted orange juice concentrate, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 4 eggs, the zest from 1 large orange.  Plus for the topping: 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sugar.  Plus for the filling:  6 Tablespoon brown sugar

The dry: 4 cup flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt.  Plus for the topping:  1/2 cup flour, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.  Plus for the filling:  1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Filling, right!?  This has just got to be a good one.

In the big bowl, measure out your dry ingredients - flour, salt, brown sugar, sugar, and baking powder.

In the first small bowl, measure out your filling:  brown sugar and cinnamon.

In the second small bowl, measure out the streusel topping:  butter, cinnamon, flour and brown sugar.

Zest a large orange into the bowl that you're going to put the wet ingredients into.  This way all of the oils from the orange zest will make their way into the muffins.

Make sure you wipe down all of the zest that gets on the back on the grater - all glistening and full of flavor.

Mash together the streusel topping with a fork until it is combined yet still chunky.

Mash together the filling with a fork until it is combined and looks like wet sand.  Except it won't be wet because there's no butter.  And it won't taste like sand.  Don't ask me how I know that.

Measure out your wet ingredients and whisk them together - eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, and vanilla.  This is going to be a little thick because of the combination of the orange concentrate and the buttermilk.

Add the wet to the dry and mix it together quickly.  There will be a few streaks of flour and a few lumps of sugar, but that's okay.

Put 1 scoop of the muffin mix in the muffin cup.  You can press down on it a bit to even it out on the bottom of the cup if you want to, but I like leaving it in a scoop so that when I put the filling in, it gets all over the inside of the muffin instead of just being a lump of filling in the middle of the muffin.

Sprinkle a generous teaspoon of the filling on top of the first scoop of muffin mix.  It's okay if it falls off of the mix and rests on the bottom of the muffin cup.  It will sort itself out when it bakes.

Top the filling with another scoop of the muffin mix.

Spread out the second scoop of the muffin mix gently on top of the filling.  Don't spend a lot of time, though.  Your baking powder is activated and you need to get these in the oven soon.  Besides - it will all sort itself out in the baking.

Top generously with the streusel topping - try to put it on a little lighter in the middle of the muffin so the weight of the topping doesn't stop the muffin from rising.

It's also okay to leave a few spaces of muffin mix showing through the topping.  Now just pop them in the oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

So.  What to do with all that wait time?  And some orange juice?  Hmmm...

Screwdriver, of course.  I love the citron flavored vodka with orange juice.  I think it cuts the sweetness of the orange a bit.  Oh - and the mason jar makes a good shaker for the orange juice.

Yum.  But the muffins are done.

I love the way the streusel melts and caramelized around the top of the muffin - and the filling spreads out in bits on the inside.

The best part was the look on my DH's face when he saw the muffins cooling on the rack in the kitchen.  He was so surprised!

I wonder how many of them will make it until morning?

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