Fruit Topped Citrus Olive Oil Muffins – dairy free

Can we take a minute and just appreciate the cuteness of mini things? They’re just better.

That’s right, take a moment. Enjoy the cuteness.

Now that we’ve got that (mostly) out of the way, let’s talk about how delicious they are. Because they are. They’re perfect little sweet morsels for parties, for lunch boxes, for a breakfast treat. And the other great thing about them is that they are relatively healthy. Heart healthy olive oil, fruit, and not an overwhelming amount of sugar means you can feel good ok about stuffing twelve into your mouth. Not that I’ve ever tried anything like that.

These (cute) little bite sized treats were very popular party treats last month. They’re nice and light, sweet, and the fruit pieces give nice juicy bursts. Olive oil is one of those ingredients that people (ahem. Mr Official Taster) think sounds odd as part of a baked good, but, invariably, if they try it, they like it. Olive oil pairs especially well with citrus or rosemary, which makes sense given their shared growing region (like how tomatoes and basil go together).

You might look at the written recipe and think it’s too fussy. Think again. Although these yummies are not one-bowl wonders, they’re really pretty easy, hard to mess up, and worth a couple dirty bowls. Additionally, you could definitely make a batch and freeze some for later. Put them in your freezer, label them, and forget about them. That way, you will be rooting around looking for some corn for chili one day and come across your stash. It’ll be on par with finding a $5 in your jeans.

But way cuter.

Fruit Topped Citrus Olive Oil Muffins – dairy free

The fruit topping is completely adaptable to what you like, what allergies you may be dealing with, or even what colors you want. Red and blue are great for July 4th or Memorial Day parties. How about star fruit? Red and green (kiwis, perhaps?) for Christmas. Or pink raspberries for a little kid’s birthday party. You get the idea- have fun!

cooking spray (or liners) for pan
4 eggs, separated and room temperature
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 + 3/4 C sugar
2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C orange juice
zest of one lemon, orange, or lime (grapefruit should be yummy too)
chopped or whole berries (or other fruit)

Separate your eggs when you first take them out of the refrigerator because it’s easier when they are cold. Then allow them to come to room temperature for 30 min or so.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or line muffin or mini muffin trays.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs whites in a small bowl until they foam. Then sprinkle in 1/4 C sugar while still beating the whites. Continue beating until the whites hold soft peaks.

In a large bowl, add the olive oil and 3/4 C sugar and beat together. Add the egg yolks and beat until thick and fluffy (5-7 minutes). Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Next, mix in the orange juice and zest. The mixture will be very thick and/or crumbly. If it’s crumbly, add in a splash more of juice. Don’t despair.

Add the beaten egg whites to this thick mixture. As gently as possible, thoroughly fold together the batter and egg whites. You may think they will never combine, but they will.

Spoon batter into cupcake pans. I used minis and topped each muffin with a couple blueberries or a slice or two of strawberry. Do what makes you happy.

Turn the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean), depending on muffin size. Obviously, mini muffins will cook a few minutes faster than standard size ones. (15ish for minis, 18-20 for standards) Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.