When making people look back, waxing nostalgically about the foods of their youth, many remember of cookies as being the primary sweet treat of their youth. Indeed, for lots of folks such was the case, yet around my house - while cookies did certainly appear sometimes, especially around the holidays - perhaps the number one sweet snack that I remember is muffins.
Yes indeedy, whether they were zucchini and pineapple, classic blueberry, bran, apple cinnamon, chocolate chip, banana, pumpkin spice, or any other of a myriad of favourites, there was scarcely a week when one type of muffin or another failed to make an appearance at our table. Variety and great recipes helped ensure that we never got bored with these darling quick breads, but rather that we were always eager to see a piping hot tray of them being pulled from the oven.
Eaten generally for dessert, we'd sometimes get a muffin with breakfast or tucked into our school lunchboxes, too, and as I grew older and began cooking in the family kitchen myself, muffins were amongst the first foods I can remember cutting my culinary teeth on as I learned to cook and bake.
Jump ahead a couple of decades and I still adore muffins every bit as much as I did as youngster. Though these days I need to ensure I use gluten-free recipes, I still have a hefty stack of muffin recipes that I love pulling from, and that I bake on a regular basis.
A number of mine and my mom's muffin recipes include raisins (golden have always been my faves) or currents, and as I'm always on the look out for others, when I spotted this subtly zingy, appealingly tasty looking 1940s Orange Raisin Muffin recipe, I just knew I had to add it to my collection and share it with all of you as well.
Great as this recipe sounds as it is, I'd be very tempted to add a little vanilla and perhaps a sweet spice such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Ginger, likewise, could be really, really nice with the cheery orange hit in this muffins.
If you wanted to elevate them almost to cupcake status, you could also whip up a thin orange glaze to drizzle over top once they're out of the oven and have cooled for a tad. For a trendy modern (and yet, especially around the Mediterranean, timeless) spin, you could use blood orange juice and zest, though do keep in mind, that doing so will tint your muffins a soft shade of pinky-red.
As I sit here writing this now, it strikes me that perhaps, in addition to cookie jars, we should have specially designated (airtight) muffin jars or containers to give pride-of-place to our our kitchen counters, too - especially if your family adores muffins as much as mine does.
Wherever you store, eat and enjoy them, I hope that you have oodles of fun whipping up a batch of these great vintage Raisin and Orange Muffins.