Thursday, July 11, 2013

Orange Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

My family and I went to see the Cleveland Orchestra last week at Blossom Music Center. It's a beautiful outdoor concert pavilion with a huge lawn where you can pop a squat, set up a picnic (complete with wine, of course), and enjoy the music. We had our classy picnic foods, like cheese and crackers, macaroni salad, and fruit. To add to our meal, my sister asked me to make these muffins from a recipe she found. I'm not sure which cookbook the original recipe came from, so unfortunately, I can't lead you to it. Just know that this is not my recipe specifically, but I'm just passing it along!

The original recipe goes as follows:

*Grated zest and juice of 1 large orange (about 1/2 cup juice)
*1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
*2/3 cup milk
*1 (15-ounce) box Trader Joe's Cornbread Mix
*1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F) and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners or lightly grease and flour the cups. In a large bowl, combine the orange zest, juice, oil, and milk, and whisk to combine. In two batches, incorporate the cornbread mix. Gently fold in the blueberries. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups, filling to just under the rim. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

I only managed to make 11 because I filled them a tad too much, but it made for very pretty, fluffy muffins. I also opted for fresh blueberries and I accidentally used gluten-free cornbread mix. It also wasn't Trader Joe's. Now you know my cornbread muffin secrets. Using the gluten-free cornbread mix was totally a good move, though! I really enjoyed the texture and flavor. I didn't even realize I had bought gluten-free until I had gotten home and saw the label. Of course, it didn't bother me, but I was worried that my dad and sister wouldn't like them. Everything turned out well, though, and everyone enjoyed them. Even my little two-year old cousin; he ate a whole one himself!

They can also be made dairy-free or vegan by using almond, rice, or soy milk. Don't like blueberries? I think they'd be just as tasty with dark chocolate chips or blackberries. Think they need a little extra sweetness? Try adding a little honey or agave nectar. Since they are so simple, there is definitely room to change some things around or doctor the recipe a bit. It's also great inspiration to go take a bakery mix and make it your own! Oh and they're perfect for breakfast!

What would you add to your cornbread?

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