Gloriously Orange Muffins

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In case you haven’t noticed, I like making muffins. They were always in our home growing up: usually Mom would make a few dozen on a weekend and freeze them, and I would have them for breakfast before school. My mornings were populated by a parade of flavourful, interesting baked goods that were a much better than cereal: blueberry sunflower, orange bran, banana chocolate chip, apple cheddar, cherry pie, morning glory.

What a beautiful name for a muffin. My maternal grandparents had blue morning glories growing on an arch in their front garden, so every time I would eat one, I would think of the pleasant times I had spent at my grandparents’ house.

My family’s traditional morning glory muffin recipe contains crushed pineapple, but I am now allergic to pineapple. I’ve found a good sub in canned mandarine oranges. I have made several more changes to the recipe to reduce oil and sugar, but still kept it delicious. Because of the oranges and pumpkin, they’re a pretty shade of orange. Think of them as little suns to light up your mornings!

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Gloriously Orange Muffins

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Makes 12 large muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 240-280 mL can of mandarin orange segments, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat over to 350F. Grease your muffin tin.
  2. Combine flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to break up clumps.
  3. Combine dates, carrot, and pureed pumpkin.
  4. Allow to sit to rehydrate dates while carrots are grated.
  5. Add carrots, nuts, oil, water, flax, and milk to date mixture. Stir well.
  6. Add baking powder, stir quickly to combine, than add wet mixture to flour mix.
  7. Using a spatula, fold together until no dry pockets are left, but do not overmix.
  8. Divide between 12 well of muffin tin.
  9. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts: Per Muffin: 172 Kcal, 4g fat, 15g sugars, 2g fibre, 3g protein, 54% RDA Vit. A.

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Dream Date Cookies

As the stores are already littered with Valentine’s Day displays, memories come to mind of my childhood ideas about what “romance” meant. Flowers, dinners in fancy restaurants, and, for some bizarre reason, having a date who would appreciate it when I wore pantyhose (I think I associated it with being grown up). And of course the mysterious lover would be attractive, sweet, think I was funny.

I did and up marrying someone I love, who is sweet, beautiful, and has a sense of humour. Sure, flowers and fancy dinners happen sometimes, but the love and romance stems from more than that. Coming home during a stressful week and her playing an album on the stereo that I told her I’ve been thinking of for a while. Picking up her favourite candy when I’m out running errands. Taking the time to learn about and become interested in each others’ hobbies. After nearly a decade, love still isn’t boring. Making cookies for each other helps, too.

Dream Date Cookies (4 of 5)

These cookies could be described as a cross between chocolate shortbread and a trail mix cookie, with lots of chocolate flavour. Share them with whomever you love.

Dream Date Cookies (5 of 5)

Double-Chocolate Dream Date Cookies – An original recipe by Agent Minty

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated coconut
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup soft margarine
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp egg replacer + 2.5 Tbsp water, mixed well
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (cheap ones are fine)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Process rolled oats in a blender or food processor until they are a coarse, uniform flour (think bran flake size).
  3. Combine oat flour in a bowl with salt, flour, coconut, cocoa, and baking powder.
  4. Cream together margarine, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  5. Add in vanilla and “egg” and beat until fluffy.
  6. Mix in dry ingredients.
  7. Stir in chopped dates and chocolate chips.
  8. Drop in 2-Tbsp piles on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven, rotating sheets halfway through.
  10. For best texture, cool completely before eating.

Dream Date Cookies (3 of 5)