Have you ever wanted to buy one of those big, red, net bags filled with mandarin oranges?
I have a hard time saying no to the color orange.
Here’s the small, orange notebook I carry around with me. In it there are measurements of shelves we need, lists of ideas, scribbled calculations and some quirky characters I like to sketch like The Full-Bellied Bee.
Here’s Edmund Moribund…this dude is always afflicted with melancholy.
Let’s leave Edmund to mopeyville and go with the bee vibe. Orange is upbeat, vibrant, charged. Buying that big bag of mandarin oranges worked out. I made a marinade for pork tenderloin. I threw slices into salads. I snacked. On Sunday I mixed up happy hour cocktails with seltzer, mint, sugar, juice and Canadian Club.
And for Monday morning I baked light, fluffy Mandarin Orange Pecan Muffins that have a little zesty kick to them…just enough to wake you up nicely.
I’m not talking about an alarm clock wail….more like a rain machine nudge.
Let’s start the week off nice and with a little zest.
Mandarin Orange Pecan Muffins
quantity: 12 muffins
prep time: 10-15 minutes
baking time: 20 minutes
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon grated mandarin orange peel
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup plain yogurt *I like Fage 0% nonfat yogurt
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice
- 3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, salt and grated peel. Set aside.
Melt butter. Pour it into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the egg, yogurt and juice. Beat together till the mixture is pale yellow and creamy.
Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry mixture that you set aside earlier. Don’t overmix. When it looks like you only have a few more turns to go add the chopped pecans and gently fold them into the batter.
Spoon the batter into a non-stick or greased muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes. A toothpick or skewer stuck into the center of a muffin should come out pretty clean. There may be some small crumbs on the tester which is fine. If the crumbs look and taste like the delicious center of a freshly baked muffin then you’re all good.