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Tag Archives: bakery

Lemon Muffins

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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 vraklis@yahoo.com if you’d like to purchase one!  You can see some of the recipes in her cookbook here.

Lemon Muffins

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Lemon syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Muffins
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

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Favorite Blueberry Muffins

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These are currently my favorite blueberry muffins.  For me, the best blueberry muffins are stark white (no brown sugar or cinnamon, please) to contrast the pretty purplish blue of the bursting berries, a little dense, and quite sweet.  My perfect blueberry muffin is also leavened with baking powder, as baking soda tends to give the blueberry juice a greenish tinge and the color appeal is very important to me in a blueberry muffin.  In essence, my ideal blueberry muffins are blueberry cupcakes disguised as breakfast by the heaviness of the crumb and a lack of frosting.  Though a nice crumb topping is certainly not out of the question. :)

Thanks to Carolyn of Inner Chef for introducing me to this fabulous recipe!  It’s now my go-to, though I desperately need to make a batch with the crumb topping, as I’m sure I’ll love it even more.  Thanks for helping me using up some of my Grandpa’s blueberries, Carolyn!  (I inherited 16 pints back in March in a very strange way–I really need to share the story!)  Thankfully, between several batches of these muffins, eating the blueberries straight, and this pound cake, not a single pint had to go to waste. :)

Favorite Blueberry Muffins

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
⅓ cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries*

Crumb Topping (optional)
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

*I used 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, which made each muffin bursting with berries (we loved this). 1 cup will give you a more typical blueberry muffin.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper liners.

Combine 1 ½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together ½ cup sugar, ⅓ cup flour, ¼ cup butter, and 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon. Mix with a fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in center (not into a blueberry) comes out clean.

Recipe source: Inner Chef

Note: I photographed my muffins the day after I baked them, so the blueberries had withered up a little as the juices absorbed into the muffins, making them crazy moist. Although we enjoyed them more after storing 8 hours in an airtight container (I baked them the night before), rest assured they will be beautiful and not withered when you take them out of the oven.

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