Orange and Pecan Muffins _lowres

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles -- Today's cook sifts the ingredients for Orange and Pecan Muffins to equally distribute the dry ingredients, unlike in the past when a split wood sieve was used to sift out pieces of bran and bugs from the flour.

Advocate-tested recipe

Orange and Pecan Muffins

Makes 18 regular-sized muffins. Recipe is by Cynthia L. Nobles.

2½ cups all-purpose flour

2½ tsps. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. iodized salt

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Finely minced orange rind from 1 large orange

¼ cup orange juice

1 tsp. orange extract

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

4 tbls. (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature and beaten

1½ cups chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line muffin tins with 18 paper liners, or coat insides well with cooking oil. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger. In another bowl mix together buttermilk, orange rind, orange juice, orange extract and vanilla.

2. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream together sugar, butter and vegetable oil until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Alternate adding the flour mixture and wet ingredients into the butter, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing just until barely blended. Batter should be thick and slightly lumpy. Gently fold in pecans.

3. Fill muffin tins 2?3 full and put pans in oven. Bake until a toothpick in centers comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Cool in pans at least 5 minutes. Serve warm.