Muffins for new neighbors (and Sugar High Friday)
I made these yummy muffins for some new neighbors who moved in across the street a few weeks ago, and I’d been waiting for the right time to post about them. As soon as I heard Alanna’s idea for this month’s Sugar High Friday — Surprise Inside — I knew this recipe would do the trick.
The cake part of these muffins is buttery and dense, almost shortbread-esque, with a hint of almond. Once you take a bite, though, you get a burst of orange. A dollop of marmalade makes its way into the center of the muffin as you’re filling the muffin cups, but you’d never know it to look at these muffins from the outside once they’re baked. Which is one of the things I love about making them for other people — a real surprise!
The bittersweet tang of the marmalade plays perfectly against the buttery almond flavor of the muffins, and while these probably don’t serve as a particularly balanced nutritional breakfast, they make a delightful afternoon snack, especially with a warm cup of tea.
The best part about making them on the spur of the moment is that I usually have all of the ingredients already on hand — no trip to the store is necessary. The new neighbors must have liked them — they invited us over for drinks the next week!
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 t. almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
About a half cup orange marmalade
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and melted butter. Whisk in the eggs, and then stir in the almond extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet all at once, folding until well-combined, but being careful not to overmix.
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Fill the cups half-full with the batter. Top the batter with about a teaspoonful of marmalade. Fill the cups the rest of the way full and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are slightly brown. Cool before serving; the marmalade inside will be very hot!
–adapted from Muffins A-Z by Marie Simmons