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Orange, spice combine for delicious treat

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An orange glaze is the perfect topping for these delicious muffins. Lisa Boykin Batts | Restoration NewsMedia
An orange glaze is the perfect topping for these delicious muffins. Lisa Boykin Batts | Restoration NewsMedia

Once again, I turned to an old cookbook for inspiration this week. The cookbook, purchased in 2010 is Cooking Light’s “Quick Baking.”

I have flipped through the pages of this cookbook so many times over the years to drool over photos of fresh apple cupcakes with almond streusel, blueberry coffee cake and bacon-cheddar corn muffins. It’s no secret that I love to bake. My favorites include cookies, muffins and quick breads.

I like something I can quickly mix up and bake and move on to eating.

So I chose an orange-pecan tea bread. The photo and recipe name drew me in. I only needed to purchase one ingredient, orange marmalade, and I was pleased to get it in a Wal-Mart pick-up order.

Although I love holding a cookbook in my hand, I also love reading reviews for the recipes I plan to make. So I Googled the recipe title and Cooking Light and found it, complete with reviews. Several reviewers mentioned it was difficult to get the bread to cook all the way through without burning the top. One reviewer said she made muffins instead of a loaf, so I did the same.

Last Wednesday morning, during two conference calls, I made my muffins and impatiently waited for them to cool enough to spread on the orange glaze. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The recipe is very simple to make. It only takes a few minute really to mix it. I didn’t completely follow the directions. I mixed everything in one bowl. After the dry ingredients were in the bowl, I made a big well in the middle and added the other ingredients. I’m all about making life easier in the kitchen.

I never have orange marmalade at home, so I enjoyed the aroma when I opened the jar. And when I zested the orange, I got even more excited about the muffins.

As you can imagine, my kitchen smelled so good with the tantalizing aroma of orange tinted with allspice and nutmeg. I was excited and wished someone else was home to smell it with me. But, alas, no one else is working at my home office. My husband commented on how good the kitchen smelled when he came home for lunch and took a muffin when he went back to work. It wasn’t long before I got a text from him telling me how good it was.

Since no one watching, I ate two muffins with a cup of hot tea that morning and didn’t feel guilty. Not even a little bit.

Lisa Boykin Batts has been writing a weekly food column since 2001. Her column includes recipes she and her family enjoy.

Orange-Pecan Tea Bread or Muffins

I sprinkled pecans on two muffins and didn’t really like the way they looked. Next time, I’ll just add a few extra pecans to the muffin batter and will omit the pecans for the glaze topping.

• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (mine wasn’t low-fat)

• 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

• 3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk (I used skim)

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 3 tablespoons orange marmalade

• 2 teaspoons grated orange rind

• 2 large eggs

• Cooking spray


• 1/2 cup powdered sugar

• 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice

• 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 5 ingredients (flour through allspice) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Combine granulated sugar and the next 7 ingredients (sugar through eggs), stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into an 8X4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray or 12 muffin cups, prepared with cooking spray. Bake the loaf at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Bake the muffins 18 to 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over bread, and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons pecans.

Cooking Light