Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday ~ Orange Chocolate Muffins ... BAKE AND BLESS!

Any times our hearts turn to gratitude, it's a good time to bless someone else. November is the perfect time to "Bake and Bless." I've been the recipient of sweet gestures of blessing accompanied by sweet baking in the last few weeks. Look at what our neighbors the Allins brought to me this weekend! 

The homemade card came with a loaf of yummy banana bread that we all enjoyed, but you don't have to start from scratch. You don't even have to take a whole loaf or a whole dozen of anything; wrap up a "one" thing with a ribbon on top or a tea bag attached, and let that be your blessing. Something we make says "Blessing" in a uniquely warm way. Is there someone who lives alone? Someone ill? Someone discouraged? Someone grieving?  Someone lonely? Someone new?  Who in your life could benefit from a little baking and blessing?

 Now that you have someone in mind .... (stop and think of someone if you're not ready  ;))  let me give you a simple recipe you can use to Bake and Bless. This was inspired by a recipe that I modified from an old Taste of Home Holiday cookbook. They are light and moist, and the combination of chocolate with orange is delicious and perfect for upcoming holidays.

Orange Chocolate Muffins
Cream together:
1/2 c. softened butter & 1 c. sugar
Add:  2 eggs, 1/2 c. sour cream, 1/2 c. orange juice, 1 t. vanilla and 2 T. grated orange peel (I use dry)

Add:  2 c. flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips roughly chopped

Mix until well combined, but don't overmix. It will become dry. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and then line with baking cups (makes for easier clean up - I hate washing muffin pans!).

Fill 14 muffin cups.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until muffins are light and spring back when gently touched. Cool  a few minutes before removing, cutting and smearing with butter .... or cool a little longer before packaging a couple to take to someone else to "Bake and Bless."

I took one of my biggest muffins, put a special tea bag with it, arranged them in a fall themed plastic bag, then tied it all up with 3 strands of curled ribbon. All ready to deliver a personal coffee break and a blessing to a friend in need!

I hope YOU enjoy these, but more than that, I hope you BAKE AND BLESS! 

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