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Blueberry-Orange Mini Muffins

It is easy to zest an orange. Using short strokes, rub the fruit over the small holes of a box grater, turning the fruit as you work. Rub off only the colored part of the skin (the zest). Avoid the white part underneath because it tastes bitter.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

Melt the butter
Be sure an adult is nearby to help.

Put the butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Using a pot holder, move the pan to a heatproof surface. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Line a 24-cup mini muffin pan with paper liners.

Mix the batter
In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, the 1/3 cup sugar, the baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl, using the wooden spoon, beat together the milk, egg, orange zest and vanilla. Stir in the blueberries. Add the milk mixture and the melted butter to the flour mixture. Stir gently just until blended.

Fill the cups and bake
Using 2 large spoons, one to scoop and one to push, fill each lined cup mostly full with batter. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons sugar evenly over the tops.

Put the pan in the oven and bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes.

Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

Tip the muffins out of the pan onto the rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 24 mini muffins.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kids Baking, by Abigail Johnson Dodge (Oxmoor House, 2003).