Panettone Muffins

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Hi everyone! I woke up feeling under the weather. My husband came home yesterday with a bad cold so I guess I got it too. It’s pretty cold here in Northern California right now, hopefully I don’t feel worse for the weekend.

Let’s talk about Panettone. Panettone is an Italian sweet bread (yeasted) that is very popular during Christmas time. I grew up eating panettone and hot chocolate during the holidays. I’m not Italian but Peru is one of the countries that eat more panettone during the festivities. Our consumption (Peru) is 70% only in December, especially in Christmas week. Everywhere you go, you see panettone.

Of course you can find different brands and types of panettone. My favorite one is the one that has dried fruit and nuts. Some people spread some butter on their panettone slice but I don’t do that, I’m watching my calories (yeah, right! Panettone has a lot of calories already!).

This recipe is very special because it reminds me of the last Christmas eve my grandmother Grace (my mom’s mom) was alive. She passed away January 3th 2003. I remember she was at my parents house and was asking for more panettone, she really loved it. We gave her some more and she was so happy eating it with her hot chocolate. I was so sad when she passed away. She was a sweet special lady.

Let’s start with the recipe.

Yield about 12 dozen regular size muffins

Important note:

Before you start the recipe you should make a homemade extract called Fiori di Sicilia. This extract is used to infuse your panettone. It is made with vanilla, orange and lemon extract.

In a little bowl mix : 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract and 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract. Set aside until ready to use. You won’t use all of this mix but you can save it for later.

Ingredients

For the muffins

2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/4 cup of chopped dried fruit. I used cranberries and apricots

1 cup chopped pistachios (or other kind of nut you want to use)

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

orange zest from 1 orange

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2/3 cup white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup white granulate sugar (for sprinkle before baking)

To decorate

Powdered sugar (optional for decorating)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a muffin pan with liners.

1.- In a small bowl mix dried fruit and orange juice. Set aside.

2.- In another bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

3.- In a bowl for an electric mixer, mix oil and butter. Add white granulated sugar and mix for 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one by one. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (add 1/4 teaspoon and taste, if you would like to add more flavor, add 1/4 more). Add orange zest, mix.

4.- Add 1/3 dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix. Then, add 1/2 milk and mix. Add more flour and mix. Add the other half of milk. Finally add the last part of the dry mix. Always finish with the dry ingredients.

5.- Add in the dried fruit with all the liquid.

6.- Add chopped pistachios.

7.- Fill cupcake liners with the batter just 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar. Bake for about 18 minutes or until the muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

8.- Let cool the muffins completely on cooling racks. When they are cooled, you can dust some powdered sugar on the top.

Enjoy!!

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