Well, I picked it up from the library on Friday, and have spent a good deal of time just reading it. Yes, this is one of those cookbooks that you can sit down and read since Dorie does spend some time explaining the history or backstory behind some of her recipes. I always find the background as interesting (sometimes more-so) as the recipe itself. She gives some great tips and very detailed instructions for her recipes. And, even though there is not a picture for every single recipe (I would be in HEAVEN if there was!), there are enough pictures to suit me and make me interested in making quite a few recipes.
My first attempt was the first recipe listed! Page 3, has Orange Berry Muffins and they sounded so fresh and spring-like. The fresh squeezed orange juice and zest gave just a hint of orange flavor and as Dorie says in her book, it allows the blueberries to really shine. The cupcakes have a fine crumb and are nice and moist. She does say that they are best the day they are made, but you can wrap them airtight and toast them over the next few days with good results. They also freeze well for up to 2 months.
I must say that my first Dorie recipe was successful and boy, I am happy I have a new oven so I can jump in and try to make more recipes from this amazing baking cookbook. I will have to find the perfect excuse to make the Party Cake that was made by the Daring Bakers in March... the pictures of all the cakes are absolutely fantastic! Do go check out the blogroll to see all the beautiful cakes and you may be inspired to give this cookbook a try as well!
Orange Berry Muffins
- Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- about 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh - or frozen (thawed)
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
- Pour the orange juice into a large glass measuring cup or a bowl and pour in enough buttermilk to make 1 cup. Whisk in the eggs, honey and melted butter.
- In a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of orange is strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the sugar mixture. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Using a whisk, gently stir to blend. The batter will be lumpy and bubbly. Fold in the blueberries.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
- Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. When fully baked, the tops of the muffins will be golden and springy to touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins will come out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin from it's mold.