Actually, what do you say we skip the chit chat for now, and get straight to the muffins? Thanks.
Here's the deal with these muffins--divine. The lemon flavor pops out in a way that is both big and subtle. The poppy seeds add a slight crunch and a visually delicious speckled effect. The icing adds a bit of a sweet zing that sends the whole thing way over. I could eat them all for breakfast. And maybe I did.
However! However, although terribly delicious, these guys are pretty sneaky little suckers. Sure, they masquerade around under the name of muffins. They lure you in with pretty promises to be dense, wholesome and sustaining, like their muffin friends. But don't you be fooled for a second. Take one bite, and these little stinkers will show their true colors.
Any muffin this sweet, with such a light and tender crumb, smacks of cupcake. I suspect it started out as a pound cake recipe that was eventually made into cupcakes. And then I imagine some poor, unsuspecting baker got tricked into dubbing them muffins.
Well, I can't complain. I got surprise cupcakes out of the deal. And cupcakes for breakfast is just what I needed for a Monday morning.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
from Joy of Baking
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
zest of one lemon (or 1-1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
1 cup plain yogurt, not nonfat
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in the lemon zest or juice, plain yogurt, and vanilla, until well blended. Stir in the flour mixture until just moistened. Do not over mix.
Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan and glazing.
Glaze: While muffins are baking, stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. The mixture should be runny. Once the muffins have cooled for five minutes, remove from pan and drizzle glaze over them with a spoon.