Good Morning, Muffin!

I like to pretend I am better at baking than I really am. Specifically in the cake department, for some reason white cakes I seem to be incapable of making, I even made white cupcakes fall and that takes a very special talent. I am however, reasonable at making muffins. (Except of course when I go a little crazy, I have been known to over-blueberry my muffins resulting in a soggy, but very darn fruity, pile of muffiny ooze).

Muffin making skills are important. Nothing says love like a morning full of freshly baked muffins and tea. And poppy seed muffins particularly fun, they have dots! It is very exciting business. I always happen to have on hand a can of poppy seed cake filling from the store, I have never actually used it as cake filling but I do use it in muffins and cakes. I suppose I could just buy actual poppy seeds, but that would be way too easy.

These muffins are reasonably healthy, reasonably because they are made with fat-free yogurt which I think makes for a better (moister) muffin texture and cake-y crumb. Plus, they taste great, and make your house smell like the home of the domestic goddess (or god) that you are.

Poppy Seed Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • a full 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt
  • dash of milk (this depends upon the thickness of your yogurt)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 stick of butter melted (1/2 for the muffins and 1/4 for brushing into your muffin tin), I prefer salted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds, or poppy seed filling
  • zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients, all but the sugar; salt baking powder & flour into a bowl. I sift 3 times, but I am a little over the top. Next, in a different bowl, mix the sugar together with the eggs, until well blended, about a good minute of mixing, no slacking off. Then add in the yogurt, poppy seeds and vanilla followed by the melted butter, finally I add the zest. Using a microplaner is fantastic but a zester or grater will also do. Worst comes to worst you could even use a knife and practice your tiny chopping skills. Add the flour and stir with a spatula in just a few strokes, you want it lumpy but mixed. If your dough is too stiff (it should be about the consistency of pancake batter) add a little splash of milk, 3 tablespoons ought to do you. If you over mix you will have hard muffins. Use the rest of the melted butter to grease your muffin tin, I use a little pastry brush but you could pour it in and use a paper towel too if you were desperate.

I find the best way for getting muffin batter into a muffin tin is to use two large spoons, one to spoon and the other to scape off that spoon into the tin- this will help you from getting mix all over the sides and burning on and being a pain for washing up later. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. If you are feeling fancy you could make a glaze, for after the muffins cool, by taking powdered sugar and lemon juice, just enough juice to turn the sugar into a thick ooze- and brush or dribble it over your muffins, the thicker the paste the more crunchy the gaze gets when it hardens.


Miles said...

I never get to practice my tiny chopping skills!

Dawna said...

These look tasty! I would probably try to find some way to include the juice from the lemon, too, for extra lemonyness... maybe stirred into the yoghurt?