April 01, 2015

Lemon Poppyseed {Mini} Muffins

I am a sucker for a good muffin... It would also seem that now that Spring is inevitably around the corner (FINALLY!) I have an insatiable craving for all things lemon. So... This morning, after being done coloring eggs in a record amount of time, I asked my son if he would like to play Chef, (YES!), and headed into the kitchen to make something to satisfy my craving for baked goods full of lemony goodness.

I came up with these muffins out of my desire for sunny lemons, and also to loosely recreate the childhood memory of my grandmother's poppyseed cake. The end result? Muffins worthy of breakfast, snack time, brunch, or- if dressed with a simple lemon glaze- a light dessert after a fresh Spring meal. (They'd be perfect after some pasta primavera, or grilled shrimp...) These muffins are perfect- tender, moist, slightly sweet, with a perfect "crust" to the top... four [mini] muffins later, I had to make myself stop "testing" them.

Lemon Poppyseed {Mini} Muffins
Makes 34 mini muffins, or about 16 regular muffins. 

2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid*
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon- about 3/4 tbsp
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and spray muffin tins with cooking spray. (Alternately, use paper muffin liners.)
In medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth. Add in oil, milk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest; stir to combine and set aside. (It may look a little foamy or lumpy- don't worry!) In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and poppy seeds. Slowly, fold the lemon mixture into the flour mixture and stir only to combine.
Fill muffin cups with about 1 tbsp batter, and bake for 12-14 minutes- until toothpick comes out clean- rotating pans halfway. Allow to cool only enough to handle, then remove from pans and place on cooling racks to cool completely. (If you wish to glaze the muffins to make them more dessert-like, place wax paper underneath cooling racks to catch drips, and drizzle glaze over muffins while they are still slightly warm.) Enjoy!

I enjoy baking muffins and freezing them for busier days- when I'm short on time, but would really love a little something special. After sampling them, and setting some aside for my husband, I packaged these up. Two mini muffins per sandwich bag, then all together in a gallon-sized freezer bag. They will keep in the freezer for 3 months (but I doubt they will last that long!).

*Notes on this recipe: I used expeller pressed coconut oil, so there is not a strong coconut flavor in the finished product. You could also use vegetable or canola oil. If making standard-sized muffins, the baking time will be about 20-25 minutes (start checking on them around the 20 minute mark).

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