In case you haven't noticed, I'm very fond of muffins. I especially love them in the car, and make a habit of baking a batch whenever a long stretch of highway is in my foreseeable future. This time, my nephew was graduating from high school, and although the drive was a mere two hours, muffins were still very much appropriate. Road trips aside, muffins also make great afternoon snacks at work, or a light breakfast (unless you have an addictive cereal habit like me).
ORANGE-SCENTED OLIVE OIL MUFFINS
Recipe from Giada de Laurentiis
Makes 12 muffins
A note on flavor: While these are simply named "olive oil muffins" in the original recipe, the orange peel is noticiable enough to warrant a mention.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Powdered sugar, for sifting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.
Blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vinegar and milk. Gradually beat in the oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Crush the almonds with your hands as you add them to the batter and stir until mixed.
Fill the muffin tin almost to the top of the paper liners. Bake until golden on top and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins onto a platter and let cool for 5 more minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the muffins and serve.