perfect “sour pout” and “tongue tingle”
I am on a journey to find real flavors. Up until recently, I used quite a bit of artificial flavorings (both “naturally derived” and “unnaturally derived”) to create those iconic tastes sprinkled onto every childhood food from cotton candy ice creams to bubblegum cupcakes.
Those flavors, admittedly, have to be replicated artificially since they are distinct flavors on their own created during their manufacturing process. But flavors such as blueberry, coconut, and especially lemon should need no synthetic clone. For a long time, I loved those artificial flavors, but long term home cooking can change your palate enough to make you crave the real thing.
This lemon poppy seed muffin is actually the first thing I’ve ever baked using lemon zest. My cooking and baking mis-education led me to believe that I couldn’t get lemon flavor alone using just lemons. So, during the beginning of my baking life I used lemon flavor. Boy was I wrong!
Two lemons alone were enough to get that perfect “sour pout” and “tongue tingle”. Considering I’m a fiend for Sour Patch Kids, I would personally add more lemons (5 maybe?), but I think two is adequate for the average lemon-lover.
Fresh lemon juice from the lemons is used to create a zingy drizzle to add that extra spark on top of the muffin. The poppy seeds are not overpowering; just there for a satisfying crunch. This is an easy, classic muffin for the end of the summer. Then, we’ll bring on those pumpkins and apples!
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
For the Muffin
- 1 Stick (113g) Butter room temperature.
- ½ Cup (100g) Granulated Sugar plus additional sugar for topping.
- ½ Cup (100g) Dark Brown Sugar
- Zest of 2 Lemons You can zest 3 or 4 for a bit more zing!
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 TSP (5g) Vanilla Extract
- 2 ½ Cups (270g) All Purpose Flour
- 1 TSP (4g) Baking Soda
- 1 TSP (4g) Sea Salt
- ¾ Cup (160ml) Buttermilk
- 3 TBSP (45ml) Lemon Juice
- 1 TBSP (15g) Poppy Seeds plus additional seeds for topping.
For the Lemon Drizzle
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- 3 Cups (300g) Powdered Sugar
Make the Muffins
Preheat oven to 375°F(190°C).
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until tan and creamy. Next, beat in the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.
In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the buttermilk and lemon juice.
Alternating a third at a time, mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture into the creamed butter and sugar until just incorporated. Do not overmix to prevent the muffin batter from developing gluten. This will make the muffin too dense.
Fold in the poppy seeds with a rubber or silicone spatula until seeds are evenly distributed, but without mixing the batter too much.
Place baking cups into standard sized muffin pans and fill them no more than 2/3 of the way up. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar and poppy seeds on top of the muffins.
Bake muffins for 25 to 35 minutes or until amber and just lightly browned on the edges. Probe the center of each muffin with a toothpick; if the toothpick comes out clean, the muffin is ready. Set the muffins aside to cool completely.
Make the Lemon Drizzle
Squeeze out the juice of two lemons into a medium mixing bowl and remove all of the seeds.
A third at a time, mix the powdered sugar into the lemon juice, mixing thoroughly until a thick glaze develops. You may have to add more or less sugar depending on the consistency you desire. It should be thick enough to dry solid white at room temperature.
When the muffins are completely cooled, pour your preferred amount of lemon drizzle onto the muffins.
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