Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Let’s have a brief ode to the muffin, shall we? Are there many other foods that are so beautifully versatile? It goes without saying that muffins are excellent to have on hand for quick breakfasts, of course, but they also make wonderful snacks, part of a lunch, or even, under the right circumstances, a yummy dessert.

Obviously muffins come in all flavors, sizes, and varieties, from the delicious if not very nutritious sugary quarter-pounders at many coffee shops, to extremely healthy zucchini-flax varieties that take advantage of late fall produce. (I actually very much want to try baking with zucchini soon; if anyone has a beloved recipe, please point me in the right direction!) These lemon poppy seed muffins fall nicely in the middle of that spectrum, in my humble opinion, and really are everything that a muffin might aspire to be. Tender crumbs in the middle, bright citrus flavor, a slightly crispy top, and just the right touch of sweetness.

Preparing to bake lemon poppyseed muffins
To make the prospect of these beauties even more attractive, you can probably make them with ingredients you routinely have on hand, and you can probably measure your ingredients, mix up the batter, and have them in the oven in less than 20 minutes. I managed to accomplish this during one of Henry’s almost nonexistent naps, which suggests there is hope for even the most time-deprived among us to have a delicious, homemade treat in spite of it all.

Lemon poppyseed muffins

These would make a great pitch-in for an office breakfast or brunch, or a lovely treat to make for anyone with a new baby or house, or just because. Now your turn.. what are your favorite muffin flavors? Or are you more of a scone person? Mmm… scones.. I might have to make some of those for breakfast next weekend. So many things to bake, so little time! What a good problem to have.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Yield: About one dozen muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 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 greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk briefly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, incorporate half of the dry ingredients, followed by the greek yogurt, then the remaining dry ingredients, beating each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Annie’s Eats