Dark Chocolate Chunk Clementine Muffins

Happy 2013 everyone!  Although I’ve been truly enjoying my time off and ringing in the new year, the last week has rudely reminded me just how miserable living in the Northeast can be.  It’s so freakin’ cold!!  But if there’s one thing I do love about wintertime, it’s the readily available citrus fruits.  I could eat 10 clementines in one sitting, but normally I set my limit to 3.  No worries about scurvy over here!  I also enjoy my fair share of grapefruits and oranges, but who can resist the little clementines that are so sweet and easy to peel.  We always have a box around during the winter months, so when I went to make some muffins a few weeks ago, I didn’t have to go far to find some inspiration.  I think the combination of orange and chocolate is amazing, and although Ryan was a little skeptical of this concoction, we all loved them!

I’m always looking for muffin varieties and I’m really glad I went out on a limb here a bit to make these clementine ones.  They had just the right amount of bright,  zesty citrus flavor without being overwhelming.  And paired with the dark chocolate chunks, I was in heaven.  You could totally use oranges in this recipe (or any citrus flavor, really), but as I said, I just happened to have a few around so went for the little guys.  The recipe is extremely straight forward and open to adaptation, and they baked up really beautifully too.  If you love those chocolate oranges around the holidays, you’ll love this recipe too!

When I was browsing through the photos and recipes I have saved up to share, I thought this one might be the most appropriate to share the first week of the new year.  It’s kind of healthy (with a whole stick of butter, mind you) and involves fruit!  But as of 2013 I actually am starting to watch what I eat in order to slowly tone up before the wedding, so you might see a few healthier recipes here and there on the blog.  And of course plenty of ridiculous chocolate/peanut butter/omg-she-said-how-much-butter recipes to even everything out.  Here goes nothing!

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Dark Chocolate Chunk Clementine Muffins

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

Yield: 12 large muffins

Ingredients:

for the muffins:
1-3/4 all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Zest of 5 clementines
4-6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

for the glaze:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup orange juice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and clementine zest. Stir in the chocolate chunks/chips.

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, orange juice, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk well to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold gently until just combined. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them each about 3/4 full.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the muffins are in the oven, prepare the glaze by combining the sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and brush warm glaze over the muffins as they cool.