Granny Marigold's blog for the recipe, or you can read it here.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Chop up one whole orange, including the peel. Put it in a blender with 2/3 cup of orange juice and pulse until only little bits of orange remain. Set aside.
In a mixer (or you could do these by hand if you like) with paddle attachment:
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/2 scant cup sugar
I whipped these three at high speed to fluff the butter as much as possible. Granny Marigold had said that they don't rise much. I wanted to see if I could get a better rise from them.
Add the orange mixture to the butter mixture and mix just a little. You don't want to deflate that butter and egg. (I also wonder -- could you add a second egg and decrease the amount of orange juice?)
Add dry ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix only until all ingredients are incorporated. Gently crumble in 1/2 cup chopped dates. I bought the little box at the grocery, and it was a perfect amount. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 15 -18 minutes until just beginning to brown on the edges.
Okay -- I had some regular muffin liners and some "jumbo" ones. Interestingly, the muffins rose as high as the liners they were in, so you see the one on the left is taller and fluffier than the one on the right. I don't think I put more into the larger liners; I wanted the muffins to be the same size. So perhaps this batter will rise as long as it has something on the sides to "climb on"? Some cakes, I think, are that way also.
I will be making this recipe again! Thank you, Granny Marigold!