Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I'm not going to surprise you by telling you that when I think of muffins my mind quickly goes to chocolate chip muffins. Something about dessert disguised as breakfast is quite appealing! However, lately I've been craving fresh, spring-like flavors. I think it's the warmer days, the sunshine, and the lack of snow after a long, cold winter. I decided to make muffins recently and I knew I wanted something that encompassed the flavors of spring. Enter lemon.

I had never tried lemon poppy seed muffins before, so this was a new experience for me. When I took the first bite I was transformed out of my classroom and into a whole different world. I saw a red and white checkered cloth on a grassy field, friends in shorts and tank tops, tall shade-bearing trees, brimming glasses of lemonade with drips of perspiration on the cold clear side... I just felt *summer* and I knew these muffins were a winner. Shortly after my out of body experience John sent me a text expressing his experience with the muffins- "Babe, these are GOOD!" Yeah... so my experience was a bit more dramatic than his, but hey, we all know I'm the foodie in this couple.

 I never thought I'd love these as much as I did. They reminded me of a cross between pound cake and muffins. They were exquisite and I will be making them again very very soon. When I made these I cut the recipe in half, next time I think I'd just freeze the rest! Also, the original calls for a glaze which I left out, but if you want a glaze visit Annie's blog.

Source: Annie's Eats

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)

1- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a muffin pan with paper liners.  Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  
2- Stir briefly to combine.  In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  
3- Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Mix in the lemon zest and the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with the yogurt, beating each addition just until incorporated.
4- Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full. 
5- Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  
6- Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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