Ana’s olive oil muffins…

My daughter Ana made those muffins and that was so good…They’re from Giada DeLaurentis’s show and the moment Ana saw them on YouTube, she wanted to try to make it. Not very different from a standard muffin, the cool part is the oil is olive and not something neutral. I love the fact that she didn’t try to hide its flavor, and I really enjoyed the balsamic pick-me-up.

Enhanced with lemon and orange zest and almonds, except I realized at the last minute Ana had forgotten the almonds, good I’m allergic to almonds! Well they’re a great, simple, barely-sweetened everyday muffin, if you’re the muffin-for-breakfast sort, but don’t want yours to taste exactly like cake. They’re even better with apricot jam or a marmalade. On their own, they’re just, well, olive oil muffins. Nothing to gripe about but nothing to compose sonnets over, to be honest. But, I think this is a great simple recipe to have in your repertoire and I can imagine coming back to it to jazz it up with dried fruits, fresh berries and different nuts.

Olive Oil Muffins
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentis

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Powdered sugar, for sifting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.

Blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vinegar and milk. Gradually beat in the oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Crush the almonds with your hands as you add them to the batter and stir until mixed. Fill the muffin tin almost to the top of the paper liners. Bake until golden on top and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins onto a platter and let cool for 5 more minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the muffins and serve.

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