No Peeling Required

Need some muffins for a holiday brunch? These Orange and Date Muffins not only taste good, but they can be made pretty quickly because all the wet ingredients get blended together in the food processor. And, if you tell your guests a whole orange, peel included, was used to make them, you may start an interesting discussion of odd ways foods have been used in cooking and baking over the years.

Over the years, cakes have been made with a variety of foods one might not think of as typical baking ingredients. Sauerkraut, condensed tomato soup, mayonnaise and beets come to mind. I’m dating myself but I also recall Ritz crackers being used to make apple pie, shredded zucchini masquerading as crushed pineapple in jello, and 7-Up used to marinate and glaze meat. In most cases, only the cook knew what had gone into the recipe.

You’re welcome to share the secret in this muffin recipe!

Orange and Date Muffins
(Makes 12 muffins)

1 large orange, washed and unpeeled
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped dates
1 egg
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter or margarine, cut up
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
3/4 cup (175 mL) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt

Cut orange into chunks and remove seeds. Place chunks in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add juice, dates, egg and butter; process until blended.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pour orange mixture over flour mixture; stir just until blended. Divide batter between 12 lightly greased or paper-lined muffin cups.

Bake in a preheated 400F (200C) oven until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Let muffins cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.

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