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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins

What's your favorite fruit?

I can't pick just one.  I can narrow it down to five:  watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, cherries (Golden Rainier cherries!).

But if I had to pick one fruit I could not live without?  It would have to be lemons. 

Think about it!  Drinks I can't live without:  ice cold water with a slice of lemon, or fresh-squeezed lemonade.

I need lemons to make scampi, piccata, and endless desserts.  Even though today's recipe only has lemon extract in it, I still count it as a lemon recipe!

Today's Playlist
  • "Funky But Chic"...New York Dolls
  • "Susanne"......Weezer
  • "And With It Rain".....Scotty Don't
  • "The Pretender"........Foo Fighters
  • "Creep".....Radiohead
  • "Reptilia".....The Strokes
  • "I'm Not Over".......Carolina Liar
  • "Perfect Situation".......Weezer

Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • large-granule or sanding sugar, for sprinkling

    optional: zest of one lemon
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Grease or spray 8 cups in a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

(I have updated my baking instructions since I originally posted this recipe.  All of my recipes are works in progress!  NEW baking instructions--Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower temperature to 375 degrees (without opening your oven door) and continue to bake for 10 to 12 additional minutes, until the muffins pass the toothpick test.)

Gather your ingredients.

I was out of Greek yogurt, so I substituted sour cream.  Use nonfat Greek yogurt if you have it, because there is no difference taste-wise but there sure is a difference waist-wise.

I just made up that catchy little phrase.  -Wise.  

I'll stop now.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, egg and lemon extract.

Then add the sour cream (or yogurt) and milk and mix well until blended.

Add flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, lemon zest (if you're using it) and poppy seeds.  Stir just until blended.  The batter may still be lumpy, don't worry.  As long as there aren't huge dry lumps, as long as everything is moistened, it will be fine.

I did not have a lemon on hand so I opted out of the lemon zest.

Did you catch my earlier statement, about how lemons are the one fruit I can't live without?  And yet here I am, without a lemon.

If you do have a lemon, however, I highly recommend adding the zest.  It makes the muffins so much more authentic.  REAL lemon muffins!

Even though the lemon extract is PURE, and therefore real (as opposed to imitation), it still comes out of a jar and just doesn't give me the same feeling as fresh ingredients do.

Am I talking too much?  I mean it, this time I really WILL stop.

See?  Mine is lumpy.  Lumps are what makes a muffin a muffin.

You want smooth, eat a cupcake instead.

Plop the batter into the muffin cups. 

I know I've said this before, but I find a 1/3-cup size measuring cup is just perfect for putting the batter into the tray.

Sprinkle with your sanding sugar/large granule sugar.

If you don't have this sugar, regular sugar will do.

Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower your oven temperature to 375 degrees (without opening the oven door) and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until the muffins pass the toothpick test.

Remove from the baking pan and serve warm.


p.s.--picture taken at a later date (years later, actually):
I still have a long way to go with my photography skills, but I'll get there....

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