RECIPE: Orange Poppy Seed Almond Muffins


Last week our agency had a wonderful offsite in Michigan. We were meeting at the office and hopping on a bus as a group at 8 a.m.

We were talking about what to drink and eat on the bus. I figured on making muffins, the perfect finger food for traveling. I put them in a handy basket that could be passed around the bus, with napkins tucked in for messy fingers. They got a big thumbs up from everyone, and went great with mimosas and bloody marys.

Ahem.
We did have coffee, too.


Orange Poppy Seed Almond Muffins
Makes about 16 muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1/8 cup orange juice
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 Tbsp. orange zest

Directions

In a bowl with a hand mixer, cream the shortening with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream and mix well. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract and orange zest. Mix well.

In a small bowl, mix the flour with the baking soda and salt. Add it slowly to the creamed mixture, mixing low until just combined. Add the orange juice and poppy seeds, and mix. The orange juice will loosen up the batter a touch. If still too stiff, add a splash more.

Line muffin tins with paper liners, and spoon batter into each liner until 2/3rds full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, rotating pans once during baking time to evenly brown everything.

Remove from pans immediately. Serve warm, or store in an airtight container for a week.

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