Orange Spice Muffins

IMG_1885

I don’t know what it is about orange and clove pomanders, but they always remind me of Christmas. You know, the clove studded oranges that people make around this time of year. There’s just something about that sweet spiced orange smell that makes me think of decorated trees and brightly wrapped packages, snowflakes and warm roaring fires. So why not start your cold December morning off with some orange pomander inspired muffins?

Orange Spice Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

Ingredients:

For the muffins:
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. fresh orange zest

For the glaze:
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) and lining your muffin pan with liners. In a large bowl, cream the shortening on high until smooth, then add the sugar and mix well. To the sugar/shortening, add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, orange zest, and eggs. Mix until everything is combined and there are no lumps (particularly no shortening lumps). Add the flour in half cup installments, mixing well between each new addition. Finish by adding the milk and orange juice, and mixing so that all the ingredients are well incorporated. Pour into the lined muffin pan and bake for 15-18 minutes, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

IMG_1860For those of you counting, yes there are only 10, and yes that means I’ve already eaten two even though the frosting is still clearly fresh

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and milk for the glaze, and stir with a smooth until the sugar has dissolved. You may need to adjust the amount of milk to get the desired consistency. I wanted an icing that I could lay on thick and that would keep some of its shape, so I only added 2 tbsp. of milk to my powdered sugar. If you want something a little thinner or less sugary, just increase the amount of milk you add. Once the muffins have cooled (and I mean REALLY cooled, as in no longer warm whatsoever), drizzle the icing over them with a large spoon.

IMG_1880Lit Christmas tree AND homemade muffins? Nothing could be better!

Happy baking!

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