Once upon a time, my sister found this recipe for Mandarin Orange Breakfast Bites in one of those cookbooks that’s a collection of recipes from a certain magazine throughout the year; she passed it on to me, and–mmmmm. Life got a little bit better right then and there.
The amazing thing is that I don’t actually care for Mandarin oranges. I’m perfectly happy to eat a clementine, but Mandarin oranges have never really been my cup of tea (my girlies love them, though). I love this recipe, I think, because the strongest flavor is the almond extract, for which I do care (very much!)–that, of course, and the fact that you dip the muffin tops in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar, and that makes almost anything taste amazing. If you’re okay with almond extract, I’m betting you’ll like these muffins. And as long as you have a pastry cutter, they are barely harder than an oil-based muffin recipe (and they are moist and lovely and delightful). They make a PERFECT birthday breakfast.
(Note: I generally just grease my muffin tins, but the logistics of dipping the still-hot muffins into the butter and cinnamon sugar make cupcake liners a good idea for these. Who wants to wait to eat them long enough to get past the burnt-finger threat?)