Panettone muffins

These are the best muffins I’ve ever made.  Even better than the snickerdoodle cherry ones, I think (although either one will suitably impress company or just make you really happy).  I’ve just always loved panettone (the Italian Christmas cakey bready deliciousness that typically comes in a box and you get to rip pieces of it off…) so the thought of a muffin sized panettone treat really appealed to me as I was going through the holiday season.  They work at any time of the year though and are really a perfect weekend treat.  You can make the batter in the evening and put it in the fridge and then make the muffins in the morning if you were making them during the week and wanted to speed up the process, but I enjoyed making these on a day when I didn’t have to work and could just enjoy a lazy weekend breakfast.

Soaking the dried fruit overnight is what really takes these muffins to the next level of delicious – so make sure to do that step!  I made a half batch, but the recipe below is for 12 muffins, so halve it accordingly if you don’t want to eat that many muffins in one sitting (they are best warm or the day they are made).  Even with a half recipe, I got seven instead of six, so there were plenty.

Panettone muffins (adapted from Arctic Garden Studio)

Ingredients – makes 12 (easy enough to halve it, as I did)

1 1/2 cups diced dried fruit – in Australia you can actually just get a mixture of dried fruit in the store, but if you can’t find a bagged mixture, go with raisins, dried apricots or cherries, and maybe craisins as well…yum
1/4 cup orange juice – I actually used fresh squeezed because I am fancy
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick or ~55 grams), at room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
2 generous tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping – optional, I don’t have this so didn’t use it and they are totally fine without it but it would make them look prettier

The night before, mix the dried fruit and orange juice in a bowl. Cover and let sit overnight.

The next day, make the muffin batter.  Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.  In a bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine. Mix in the vanilla extract.  Add the baking powder and salt, and then about a third of the flour, mixing in slowly.  Alternate this with the milk, then the flour, then the milk, and then the last of the flour.  Mix until thoroughly combined. Then dump in the fruit (with any remaining liquid) and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups, filling them about 3/4ths full.  If you have coarse sugar, sprinkle the tops of the muffins with them. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the centre muffins comes out clean.  Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them.  At that point they are definitely ready to be eaten, or you can let them cool completely.

IMG_3847The wet ingredients before flour is added – as you can see, it should be creamed together quite thoroughly

IMG_3848You all know how to add flour and milk to something (and I forgot to take photos) so here is the batter with the yummy fruit in its muffin cups ready to bake

IMG_3849Out of the oven, nicely brownish golden on the top and begging to be eaten

IMG_3850Went perfectly with a fruit salad – highly recommend this combination.  As you can see they are chock full of the dried fruit, which is how it should be.

Guys, these were seriously so delicious, especially still warm from the oven.  If you want to try baking a muffin, this should be it.  The only thing it requires that is slightly out of the ordinary is a mixture of dried fruit and honestly this really was one of the best muffins I’ve ever eaten.

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