Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Orange Coffee Cake Muffins - Baking GALS Round 17

For the first Baking GALS round of 2013, I wanted to make something different.  New year, no repeats (let’s hope I stick to that!).  I asked some friends for ideas and the suggestion was made to make something orange-flavored.  Well, two things immediately came to mind, both of which my mom made when I was growing up – orange cardamom bread and orange coffee cake.  I haven’t had the orange coffee cake in years and I’ve never actually made it myself so I knew that was the one.

A quick email and call home and I had the recipe and tips I needed.  I also learned that this is actually my grandma’s recipe and one of my dad’s favorites.  My mom has been making it for our family since the 70’s.  I think this is one of the few, if not the only, TRUE family recipes I’ve posted on this blog so I’m a little nostalgic about it.  If anyone makes this and doesn’t like it – spare me please and just keep your comments to yourself!

I noticed that there is melted shortening in the recipe – ewww, what??  I know shortening is just a vegetable product but it still just has a bad stigma in my head…even though one of my favorite jobs in the kitchen as a kid was to get a glob on a paper towel and grease the pans for whatever my mom was baking.  I distinctly remember sticking my hand in that big blue can…  So when I asked her if I could substitute butter, the immediate response was “Well that isn’t what they used when grandma was making this Steph - people used Crisco, just use Crisco.”  Ok fine, in honor of grandma, here goes:

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted shortening
1 tsp grated orange rind
3/4 cup orange juice

 In a separate bowl combine with a fork: 2 Tbsp grated orange rind, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp butter (soft enough to mush into the other ingredients).

Sift flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla, rind, juice, and then add shortening.  Stir only until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour into 8" square greased pan.  Per my mother when I asked about using a mixer, “No no!  It’s a very delicate batter, definitely mix it by hand.”  Done and done.

Sprinkle topping over batter.  

Bake in 400° oven for 30 minutes, though start checking it after 25.   Obviously I made muffins rather than a cake – for regular size muffins, bake for about 11-13 min; for mini muffins, bake for about 10 min.  

This is good warm, but the orange flavor really comes out as it cools a little.  Enjoy!