olive oil muffins – smitten kitchen

You all have no idea how close I was to dropping this charade of daily posting each November tonight. Because I was over it? Sadly, not close. (I’m apparently a glutton for punishment.) No, it was because I just plain forgot. Some friends came over for dinner (fantastic dinner, mind you, just you wait until I get those pictures off the camera!) and it got late and tired and whoops!

olive oil

That pretty much brings us up to now, and some muffins I made a couple weeks back. They’re from Giada DeLaurentis’s old show (the one where her cooking was “Italian” and not simply “Italian influenced”) and the moment I saw them, I knew I had to try them. Not very different from a standard muffin, the cool part is the oil is olive and not something neutral. I dug that she didn’t try to hide its flavor, and I really enjoyed the balsamic pick-me-up.

lemon zest
orange zest

Enhanced with lemon and orange zest and almonds (except I realized at the last minute I had forgotten them) they’re a great, simple, barely-sweetened everyday muffin, if you’re the muffin-for-breakfast sort, but don’t want yours to taste exactly like cake. They’re even better with apricot jam or a marmalade. On their own, they’re just, well, olive oil muffins. Nothing to gripe about but nothing to compose sonnets over, to be honest. But, I think this is a great simple recipe to have in your repertoire and I can imagine coming back to it to jazz it up with dried fruits, fresh berries and different nuts.

ready to bake

One year ago: Pumpkin Waffles

Olive Oil Muffins
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentis

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.

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