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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

The absolute worst part about making muffins is cleaning the tins after-wards, right? These little gems are worth the effort though.
I understand they sell paper liners but I never seem to have any the morning I want to make muffins. To make quick work of clean up this is what I do. I take a paper towel and wad up a corner to be about the size of the inside of the mini muffin tin. I then pour a dab of oil onto the towel and wipe the inside of each tin. You may have to get more oil on your towel after half a dozen or so. What about a cooking spray? Well, like I said above. The worst part is cleaning the tins, and I really think the cooking sprays are harder to clean off than the food! When I was using the spray's I would have to use steel wool to clean the pans! If I used just dish soap, they would darken with a sticky goop on them the next time they were put in the oven. I'm sure there are studies done, but I don't want to think about what that does inside my body.
With the clouds looming outside the windows and the kids all happily distracted with Saturday Cartoons, I whipped up a batch of Lemon Poppy Seed Mini-Muffins to be devoured through the morning hours. The advantage of a large batch is they can snack on them and give you more time to do other things without children whining at 11:30 that they will starve if they do not eat lunch right away.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
makes 96 mini muffins or 24 medium muffins
1 1/3 cup sugar
Grated zest 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemon
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup combination of sour cream and plain yogurt
4 large eggs
3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 splash of almond extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup oil
4 tablespoons poppy seeds

For the Icing:

1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of lemon strong. Inhale deeply and think of wonderful spring weather then whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds.
In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, melted butter and oil together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend.
Muffin batter should be treated much the same as pancakes. Do not over work, a few lumps are actually preferred.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake mini muffins for 15 minutes and medium muffins for 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Cool the muffins completely on the rack before icing them.

To make the icing:

Put the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to moisten the sugar, then add enough lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. Then drizzle lines of icing over the tops of the muffins.


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