Friday, February 15, 2013

Lemon Drop Muffins

Here's another golden oldie from my early days as a baker.  We always made these muffins with poppy seeds, which certainly is a fine way to go, but this time around I cut out the seeds and went for a crunchy sugar top with extra bling. They remind me of little lemon drop candies, hence the name. Fresh lemon rind and juice are essential, 3 should do you. Zest all the lemons and then juice them and measure from there. And don't skimp on separating the eggs. The extra effort of whipping the egg whites creates a light and tender muffin that sets it apart from the pack.

You can also make these muffins with fresh blueberries (gently fold in about 1 and 1/2 cups right before they go in the muffin tins) and don't think I won't as soon as they come into season. But until then, since it's obvious the groundhog was wrong and there's still all kinds of nasty weather out there, these sweet-tart lemon muffins are the perfect antidote to the winter blues.

lemon drop muffins

1 & 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt  
1/2 cup soft butter 
1/2 cup raw cane sugar plus 1 tablespoon for egg whites
rind of two lemons
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites

top bling

4 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons white sugar
rind of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer, cream butter, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and lemon rind. Add flour mixture alternately with lemon juice. At this point the mixture may seem dry but don't worry it will loosen up when the whites go in. In a small metal bowl whip egg whites and 1 tablespoon of sugar with a wire whisk until stiff but not dry and gently fold into main mixture. Divide evenly into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack and when cool enough to handle pop out of muffin tins. Combine white sugar and lemon rind. When completely cool dip each muffin into melted butter and then sugar mixture. Makes 10 muffins, serve immediately. 


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