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There’s Something About Muffins


Orange Cranberry Muffins

There was a bakery back in Ogunquit Maine, that sold the most delicous muffins. They were photo perfect, and the size of 1/2 loaf of bread (ok may be not THAT big). You could easily share one with a friend and both feel satisfied. 

I loved those muffins. Ever since those days, during my home cooking adventures on the farm, those muffins were the catalyst for experimenting with flavors and textures. My muffins are never as pretty, they are sort of misshapen and squishy looking; but the flavors have been a big hit over the years. 

Today’s recipe is Cranberry Orange Muffins. These started from a simple muffin recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook, and I jazzed them up with a few extra flavors. 

Start with your favorite muffin recipe. Mine are based on the plain muffin recipe from Betty Crocker recipes. 

I have to double, since there are 7 of us. I added a hint of nutmeg, the zest from one medium orange and 2 cups of cranberries that I had in the freezer, and then chopped right before adding.

I changed the crumble on top from white sugar to brown and voila! 

Sundays Are For Making Donuts

Glazed Yeast Donuts

Glazed Yeast Donuts

Sundays are donut days. We usually try to take things a little bit easy on Sundays, and I try to make us all a treat.

Donuts are easy to do and well loved by everyone in the family. Although we are from back East where cake donuts are the norm, it is fun to make yeast donuts once in a while to shake things up a bit.

Donuts are super simple. The recipe:

1 3/4 cups warm milk

5 tsp active dry yeast

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1/3 cup coconut oil or lard (shortening can be substituted)

4 3/4 to 5 1/8 cups all purpose flour

Add yeast to warm milk, and allow it to proof (become foamy) for 5 minutes. Then add sugar and salt, stirring gently.

In a mixing bowl, pour warm milk and yeast mixture, the eggs and attach the dough hook. Turn on the mixer and add flour, 1/2 cup at time. You are looking for a super soft dough, that pulls away cleanly from the sides. I have used between 4 3/4 to 51/8 cups flour-depending on the humidity

Place soft dough into greased bowl and allow it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour

Punch down and pat out dough into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. It is important to never re-roll yeast donut dough or it will be tough.

Cut out donuts with a donut cutter and gently move them to a floured baking sheet to rise again until doubled (30 minutes on the warm stove)

Donuts rising for the second time

Donuts rising for the second time

Heat your oil in a fryer to 350 degrees and gently place your donuts in. I can fit 2 but 3 donuts would be too close and they would stick.

Fry for about 3 minutes or less-they should be lightly browned. Flip and fry for a minute more and remove to a rack to drain.

Frying Donuts

Frying Donuts

If you want to glaze them, Combine the following in a saucepan:

1/2 stick of butter (no substitutes)

2 cups powdered sugar

1/8 cup of water-use your judgement. 

Melt butter over medium heat, being careful not to brown it. Add sugar and stir. Once sugar has absorbed the butter, drizzle in some water and stir to make a thin glaze.

Glaze for donuts

Glaze for donuts

Dip the donuts in this glaze (I find that it must stay on low heat or it becomes grainy)

Immediately drain glazed donuts on a rack and enjoy!

Fluffy Yeast Donut

Fluffy Yeast Donut

I cut out holes in some of my donuts and fry both pieces, or add no hole and fill these with jelly. Simply jab each donut with a cake decorating bag and fat tip, filled with jelly. Squeeze in a tablespoon of jelly and you are done! I glaze these on one side and serve.