Honeyed Date-Nut Muffins with Orange-Honey Butter
- 1 stick unsalted butter, plus 2 teaspoons, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup orange blossom honey
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1/2 cup pitted, chopped dates
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- Orange Honey Butter, recipe follows
- Orange-Honey Butter:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons buckwheat honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
- Pinch salt
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Lightly butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan with the 2 teaspoons of butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, cream together the remaining 1 stick of butter and honey until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after the inclusion of each. Add the buttermilk and orange peel, and beat to combine.
Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn out onto wire racks to cool. Serve with Orange Honey Butter.Orange-Honey Butter:
In a bowl, combine butter, honey, orange juice, peel, and salt and, using a hand-held electric mixer, mix until fully incorporated. Transfer to a decorative crock or small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until slightly firm.
Yield: about 3/4 cup