You know how there are some ingredients that you just can’t say no to when it comes to a particular food item? Like for me, the only cake that’s worth its weight in birthday candles is German Chocolate. Or if I’m choosing an artisnal cheese it’s going to be a stinky, creamy blue.
So when Smudge got a little, mini-muffin tin for Christmas we thought we’d better put it to work. Cupcakes or muffins? Muffins won the thumb wrestle. So now, which flavoring was going to dominate?
It wasn’t hard to choose. There are two muffin ingredients that show off their muffin-essence in my opinion. Blueberry and Poppyseed flavors are my muffin go-tos and when Smudge took the final straw poll Poppyseed was the clear winner.
I had to add a little something extra, a little almond flavoring because apparently I didn’t get enough almondness from my Valentine Sugar Cookies, so we toasted up a few nuts and added in another layer with almond extract. Then we added a few zests of lemon to add even more tart to the greek yogurt in the mix. These muffins bake up light and with a tasty crumb, far from the greasy, heavy versions you’ll find in the grocery store.
This recipe from Cooks Illustrated is one of the best, delivering a solid base for add-ins to make all of your muffin dreams come true.
- 1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F or 450 F for mini muffins. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl and set aside.
- 2. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. One at a time, add eggs and beat well after each addition. Add almond extract and lemon zest to mixture and combine. Alternate dry ingredients and yogurt in thirds until batter is smooth.
- 3. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or paper muffin cup. Fill muffin cups almost to top and sprinkle with almond slivers. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 25 minutes for the large muffins or 12 minutes for mini muffins. Set on wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes and then serve warm or at room temperature.
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Of course I get other cravings for some special muffin ingredients too. Here’s to curbing some of those cravings.
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