I adore baking up lemony treats any time of year, but lemon has such a bright and cheerful color and flavor that I find it particularly appealing on a cold winter day. I picked this recipe from my foodie mama’s cookbook to brighten up one such day a couple weeks ago. Her cookbook is self-published, the same kind that churches print for fundraising, so it’s pretty straightforward without a lot of extra words, but at the end of this recipe, she said, “Wonderful!” so I knew it had to be good. If she didn’t say anything at the end of her blue ribbon recipes, which I’ve tried and loved (like this banana bread and this peanut butter pie), I knew this one had to be a real winner. And I was right.
Seriously y’alls. The texture. The flava flav. It’s all kinds of wondermous. It’s like someone crossed a pound cake with angel food cake and turned it into a muffin. The lemon flavor is really incredible, with lemon zest and juice in the muffins, and a lemon syrup soaking down into them. The only thing I almost changed was the walnuts, because nuts seemed such a strange addition to a lemon muffin to me. Then I almost decided to use another nut, like almonds or macadamia nuts because they seemed more suited. I’m so glad I went with my foodie mama’s instinct because she never steers me wrong. The walnuts are perfect and they even take on a pretty golden color from being toasted and baked, and look so appealing studding the yellow muffins.
Marina still has copies of her cookbook available and is selling them for $10 plus $3.50 S&H. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to purchase one! You can see some of the recipes in her cookbook here.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 eggs, separated
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
3-4 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted & finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the sugar and lemon juice for the syrup and set aside. Butter or place paper liners in 12 muffin tin wells.
Making sure your mixer and beater(s) are completely grease-free, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff. Scrape into a separate bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until light, about five minutes. Add egg yolks, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt, and beat well. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the lemon juice, beating until combined. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, then stir in the walnuts. Fill prepared muffin tins almost full to the top and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Leaving the muffins in the tins, pierce them several times with a fork while still hot. Drizzle the lemon syrup over the tops, then remove the muffins from the tins to cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe source: Marina Castle