Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Mmm, just looking at this picture makes my mouth water... I made these muffins today for the first time, and they were fabulous!! I'm not surprised, they're from my Cook's Illustrated cook book that I love. The book gives several more variations for this recipe (apricot-almond, cranberry-orange, etc.). Here's my *tiny bit* healthier version of the recipe from the book.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Printable version here

2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 cup (5 oz.) whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest (from 1 large, or 2 small lemons)
10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 oz. sugar (little under 1 cup)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain whole milk yogurt*

1. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by either spraying it with nonstick spray or putting cupcake liners in it. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Using an electric (or stand) mixer, beat the butter & sugar together at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and beat in half of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 cup of the yogurt. Beat in half of the remaining flour mixture, another 1/2 cup of yogurt, then repeat one more time. Portion the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. (The tins will be filled pretty much to the top.)

4. Bake the muffins in a 375ยบ oven for 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. (Rotate pan halfway through to help ensure even baking.) Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack. Delicious served warm, or store leftovers in an airtight container.

Make-ahead directions: After filling muffin tin, you may wrap the muffin tin tightly with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray and either refrigerate for 24 hours or freeze for up to 1 month. If made without cupcake liners, you can remove the frozen batter balls from the pan once frozen, and store in a ziploc bag. To bake, unwrap the muffins and bake for 25-30 minutes if refrigerated, or 35-40 minutes if frozen.

Tip: Eggs are best creamed into butter & sugar when they are at room temperature. You can either set them on the counter before starting the recipe, or what I normally do, is put the whole eggs in a bowl of warm water while you're working on the beginning parts of the recipe. By the time you need them, they'll be a good temperature.

Why I love it? They're light, fluffy, and soft, with a slightly crisp top. They smell & taste amazing! :) Plus, the make-ahead directions can come in very handy.

*Yogurt- the book mentions that you can also use low-fat or nonfat yogurt, but I wanted to get exactly what they called for (since it was my first time making it). This is the kind I found at Albertson's:

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