Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just say no to boxed muffins

I have a confession to make. Sometimes, on a weekend morning, I feel lazy and I make muffins from a box. It is a terrible thing to do when you love to bake and are actually good at it! I haven't done it in over 6 months and am well on my way to quiting.

Last weekend I really wanted a tart lemon poppy seed muffin. I knew there was a box in the cupboard. I was tempted for a moment but knew that the results of a muffin from scratch would far out weight the energy saved making a batch from a box. To Dorie I went.

Dorie Greenspan always knows what to say to get me back in line. Just looking at her book inspires me and I usually end up making the recipe I went to her for, as well as another. And she didn't let me down with the muffins. They were very lemony which was just what I was looking for. These were a delight and so much better than anything from a box. And they took no time to whip together!

I'm going to introduce something new to the blog here. When I cook/bake I am almost always listening to my iPod or the radio, most of the time singing at the top of my lungs. From time to time I am going to include a note here saying what I was listening to while this recipe was being made. So here is the first:

**Lily Allen, The Fear** "cause I'm killing them all on my own little mission"

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 12 muffins

2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 T poppy seeds

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-3 T fresh lemon juice

To Make the Muffins:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and the lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and thefragrance of the lemon strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough-a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 18 to 20 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 T of the lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to moisten the sugar, then add enough additional lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. You can then drizzle lines of icing over the tops of the muffins or coat the tops entirely, the better to get an extra zap of lemon.


Kathleen said...

Wow what a great photo! Love Dorie. I think I might just have to whip up a batch of these myself. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Lucy said...

I've made these muffins before - they never fail to be gorgeous :) Your photo is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Great recipe. I've been trying a few lemon poppyseed recipes lately. This one is a keeper.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! The muffins are delicious!