Do you know the muffin women, who live in Manitou Springs?

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There's a contest for everything, including, as it turns out, muffins. And for Sharon Smith and Wendy Goldstein, owners of the Two Sisters Inn -- a bed-and-breakfast in Manitou Springs -- it was their muffins that took the cake on Monday, November 9 at the Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado (BBIC) annual conference in Golden, when the twosome won the -- wait for it -- Golden Muffin Award (aka, the Best Muffin in Colorado) for their original recipe for Mandarin orange streusel muffins.


Mandarin Orange Streusel Muffins - Makes 12 muffins

1-11 oz. can Mandarin orange segments 1 tablespoon orange extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup Orange-Peach-Mango juice ¼ cup reserved Mandarin orange liquid 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 2 eggs, slightly beaten ½ cup brown sugar, packed ½ cup vegetable oil 1-8 oz. carton low-fat sour cream ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Streusel Topping

¼ cup flour ½ cup brown sugar pinch salt 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pans. Prepare streusel topping by combining flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl.bCut butter into mixture with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Drain orange segments, reserving liquid. Cut segments into halves and place in a 2-cup measuring cup. Add orange and vanilla extracts, Orange-Peach-Mango juice, and ¼ cup reserved Mandarin orange liquid (total should be about 1-1/4 cups).

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine beaten eggs, brown sugar and white sugar until mixed. Add oil, sour cream and orange mixture and stir until blended. Add dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Fold in pecans. Fill greased and floured muffin pans 2/3 full. Spoon streusel topping equally over the muffins.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pans on rack for 2 minutes and then remove muffins to cool.

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