Whole Orange Food Processor Muffins

Sometimes you just need something that reminds you of your childhood. Something comforting, and homey, and reliably delicious. These muffins are it for me. My grandma makes them, and I’ve been eating them for as long as I can remember. There used to be a mystique about them too because I could never make them at home since I didn’t have a food processor. Thankfully, with the new found addition in my kitchen repertoire I’m able to recreate these little pieces of my childhood.

The muffins are from a cookbook well used and loved over the years in my family, called I’ve GOT to Have That Recipe by Barbara Doell, Dianne Winsby, and Pat Pollard. My mom received her copy for Christmas in 1986!! They combine some of my favourite things, oranges and dates, in what I think is a really creative way. Who knew you could use an entire orange in a muffin recipe?!

Anyways, you start by mixing your dry ingredients in the food processor by pulsing them a couple of times. Then separately, you work on the other ingredients starting with the sugar and dates. You then add in your whole orange. I cut mine into half and then each half into 8 pieces before it was processed.

After that you’re ready to add the rest of the wet ingredients. I used the juice of about 2.5 oranges to get the required half cup, although my oranges were pretty small. When I was reading the recipe I wasn’t sure about adding in butter that wasn’t melted first, but when you start processing the mixture it ends up blending in just fine. I also used only half the amount of butter the recipe called for and substituted the other half with applesauce. There are things we know now, that they didn’t know back in 1986!
Next you mix your wet and dry ingredients together and pour into your prepared baking tin. When they come out of the oven they smell amazing! Exactly like my childhood and my Grandma’s house, with a rich butter flavour, sweet pieces of dates, and subtle undertones of orange. Delicious!

Whole Orange Food Processor Muffins

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pitted dates
Scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 unpeeled orange, cut into chunks and seeded
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1/2 cup orange juice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.

Process flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for about 5 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.

Process the dates with sugar until the dates are coarsely chopped. Add the orange pieces and pulse until finely chopped.

Add butter, egg, and orange juice and process for 25 seconds to blend well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until just blended. Do not over beat. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes.

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