Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Muffins

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We are finally done our yearbook layouts for the year! I’m sure that we have mentioned it at one point or another, but the two of us and our friend Danielle comprise the senior section of the yearbook. For the past five months, we’ve been at yearbook for a couple of hours a day after school and have been stalking down fellow seniors in the hallway for pictures, quotes, and random/occasionally intrusive questions. Even though it is hard work, I really do love being on the yearbook and cannot wait to see the finished product. We worked very hard on the senior section, so I hope that the rest of our class loves the senior portion of the yearbook as much as we do! It is bittersweet to be done- even though it will be nice to actually go home after school, I will actually miss the crazy deadline nights (everyone gets a little bit unhinged after 8:00 when the layouts have to be done by midnight) and the awesome people on yearbook.

Want to know what else is bittersweet? The chocolate chips in these muffins (I had to tie in my first paragraph somehow)! These muffins are truly amazing. They are soft and tender with a wonderful depth of flavor. We love the chocolate and orange combination, so these muffins quickly became favorites of ours. Their orange flavor is so present is because the sugar is rubbed with the orange zest to release the oils in the zest. We’ve done this same method in recipes with lemon zest as well, and the technique really works; do it in any recipe that you want to amp up the citrus flavor.

Even though ricotta is an unorthodox muffin ingredient, it really makes a delicious muffin, so don’t be deterred by it. Give these muffins a try sometime soon- they are truly wonderful!

P.S. If you think that our oranges don’t look very orange, you’re right. They are some different variety of orange that our mom found at Trader Joe’s that have a lovely coral-colored interior, but they’re not blood oranges. They taste like regular oranges though!

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Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes about 12

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 large egg

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (regular or mini)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, rub together the orange zest and the sugar until the sugar is fragrant and faintly orange. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar mixture for about two minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the ricotta and beat until combined. Add the egg, orange juice, and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until nearly (but not quite) combined. Stir in the chocolate chips until they are evenly incorporated into the batter.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

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