It was my friend's birthday yesterday and I wanted to bake her something, but wasn't sure what I should make. Luckily, just a few days ago she mentioned in passing that she wanted lemon poppy seed muffins. Problem solved! Well, not exactly. I don't like poppy seeds and I've never made lemon poppy seed muffins so I didn't have a go-to recipe. I started browsing my cookbooks and found that Dorie had a recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins. Dorie and I haven't been seeing eye to eye on the past few TWD recipes, but overall she rarely disappoints so I decided to give the muffin recipe a shot.
I'm not a huge fan of lemon-flavored desserts, but I do love the smell of lemon zest so I loved that the first step in this recipe is to infuse the sugar with the lemon zest. It smelled so good! I was a bit worried as the batter came together because it was fairly thick but the muffins seemed to bake up without a problem. Confectioners' sugar and lemon juice is one of my favorite icings (it's so simple!) so I was glad Dorie topped the muffins that way. The muffins were well received by both my friend and my mom. I was told they were moist and quite sweet. I really want to make these again and omit the poppy seeds so I can try them myself!
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 F. Spray your muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line the cups with paper liners. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
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. 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 combine. Do not overmix the batter - a few lumps are ok. 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 to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Cool completely on the rack before icing.
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 additional lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. Drizzle lines of icing over the tops of the muffins.
Makes 12 muffins.