When I think of Christmas foods, a lot of things come to mind — sugar cookies, ham, egg nog, mulled cider, etc. But, one thing that really sticks out as being quintessentially Christmas-y is Panettone. When I was a kid, my parents would always buy a big loaf of Panettone a week or two before Christmas, set it up in the middle of the breakfast table, then for the rest of the week any time one of us passed through the kitchen we’d stop and cut off a sliver to snack on. Before we knew it there would only be a pile of crumbs left in the box, we would all be just a little sick of Panettone, and it would time to start thinking about our Christmas Day feast. It was such a fun, unspoken family tradition, and to this day I only start feeling like Christmas season has arrived when those familiar red boxes show up at the grocery store.
So, on the second day of Christmas, because I don’t own Panettone molds, my kitchen gives to you…Panettone Muffins! Moist, sweet, citrus-y muffins filled with nuts, raisins, and fruit (no yucky candied orange peels!). Muffins that are perfect for breakfast, at tea time, with coffee, or as a snack. Festive muffins, for a festive time of year!
Panettone Muffins (Adapted from a recipe found on Paula Deen’s website)
– 1 stick butter or margarine, room temp
– 2 eggs
– 3 egg yolks
– 1 cup milk
– 1 cup sugar
– 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
– 1 orange – juiced & zested
– 3 tbsp lemon juice (or, 1 lemon – juiced & zested)
– 1 cup fresh or dried cranberries
– 1 cup dried golden raisins
– 1/2 cup sliced almond
(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray two muffin pans with Pam or cooking spray.
(2) In a large bowl, cream together eggs and butter.
(3) Add sugar, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar. Mix until well-incorporated.
(4) Gradually add your flour and milk (alternating each one). Mix until it’s a nice creamy, silky consistency.
(5) Add in your orange zest and juices, and mix well.
(6) Stir in cranberries, raisins & almonds.
(7) Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Give your muffin pan a little shake/whack to even out the mixture & release any air bubbles.
(8) Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each muffin comes out clean.
(9) Let muffins cool on racks for about 10 minutes, then grab one, take a big bite, and savor the taste of Christmas.