Starting a house, kitchen and pantry from scratch is a big deal. So many times I assume I have something because I always did before. I can’t count the number of times I’ve started making a dough that needs rolling out only to remember halfway through I don’t have a rolling pin. I’ve used glasses, jars, anything I could get my hands on. I try not to have too many gadgets in the kitchen anyways, because they take up so much room, but when some of those essentials go missing it’s so easy to forget. (Don’t worry I finally got around to buying a rolling pin)
This happens with ingredients too. Last week I started making these muffins and when it got to the part about adding the poppy seeds I scoured the house, sure I had some, but couldn’t find them anywhere. How can you make poppy seed muffins without poppy seeds? Thankfully my hubby came home for lunch and I quickly ran out to the store so I could finish what I started.
When I posted all of this “drama” to Facebook the question came up – don’t you soak your poppy seeds first? I’ve never done it personally but have seen it in several recipes. So why is it called for in some recipes and not in others? I searched and found two theories 1) soaking them makes them more digestible 2) soaking them prevents the seeds from soaking up the moisture in the baked good, causing it to be dry. I’ve never soaked them and the recipes I’ve made have always been very moist so I don’t think #2 is necessarily right. I wasn’t so sure about #1 either but for reasons that I go into detail about on a food blog, it became abundantly clear that poppy seeds (kind of like corn) do not digest well, so maybe the soaking really does help with that. Anyways, soak away or don’t soak, I don’t *think* it actually affects the outcome of the recipe.
These Orange Poppy Seed Muffins are such a nice change-up from the typical Lemon-Poppy Seed combination. Really they could be called Triple Orange Poppy Seed Muffins because they get their orange flavour in three different ways, orange juice concentrate, orange zest and orange extract. They stay moist for several days, which I love because you can never eat a whole batch in one day and also make them a great make ahead. Although it does make for a lighter flavoured muffin, I think these still taste delicious with fresh orange juice instead of concentrate and will definitely be a go-to when I’ve got an abundance of oranges on my counter.
- ⅔ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup thawed orange juice concentrate
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Beat in sour cream, orange concentrate, zest and extract.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, poppy seeds, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture just until moistened.
- Scoop into regular sized muffin tins, lined with paper-liners, until two-thirds full. Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Brush with orange syrup while warm.
- In a small bowl stir the orange juice into the icing sugar until combined. Spoon over warm muffins.
Adapted from Taste of Home.