I decided to test out my new olive oil with cranberry-chocolate chip muffins. I had some cranberries from our CSA, and cranberries always put me in a holiday mood, so I thought they'd be the perfect thing to bake with....plus, you can pretty much never go wrong with chocolate! Following the instructions that came with my new bottle of oil, I subbed in olive oil for the butter, using 3/4 as much. Despite using oil instead of butter, the muffins tasted really rich and delicious. And, I couldn't taste any olive flavor at all. Instead, these muffins were all tart cranberry, sweet chocolate, and a little tangerine zest just for fun. However, we may have negated any health benefits by eating the entire batch between two of us over the course of a couple of days...whoops! I definitely call this recipe a win -- these muffins would be great for Christmas morning or any special holiday breakfast or brunch. They just look so festive with the bright red berries on top!
Now, on to the best part: a giveaway! Bertolli has generously offered up two bottles of its new extra light tasting olive oil so that you can try it out in your holiday baking this year. Just comment below with your idea for how you would use this oil in holiday baking - it could be a favorite recipe you'd like to test out with light olive oil, or something entirely new that you just think sounds delicious. I'll pick my two favorite ideas, and each winner will receive a free bottle to try it out! US addresses only, please, and make sure you leave a way to contact you (email address, website, twitter handle, etc.). The giveaway will be open until December 11.
Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Muffins with Olive Oil (adapted from Dessert for Two, original recipe here)
Makes 8-12 muffins (depending on size)
6 T 'light' olive oil (such as Bertolli extra light tasting olive oil)
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp freshly grated tangerine or orange zest
2/3 cup + 1/2 cup flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin tin with oil.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar vigorously. Whisk in the eggs and orange zest until well incorporated.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over the wet ingredients. Whisk a few times, and then add the buttermilk and whisk until just combined. Gently fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin tins - 8 for larger muffins or 12 for smaller muffins. Bake 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on the muffins. When the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch, the muffins are ready.
Full disclosure: I received a complimentary bottle of olive oil for review purposes. All opinions and recipe testing are my own.