My William's Sonoma Baking Book has done it again: these lemon poppyseed cupcakes muffins are light and flavourful.
These muffins are tasty and refreshing, but really, really toe the line between dessert and... not dessert. Despite the fact that I write a blog devoted to giving people, at the very least, visual diabetes, cupcakes masquerading as muffins kind of bother me. If I'm going to eat a cupcake, I want it to be full of fat and carbs and a thick layer of icing. If I'm going to eat a muffin, I want it to be able to act as some semblance of a meal, so I can get my real food quota out of the way for the day.
Bitching aside, these really are good. They'd be even better with a lemon curd filling. They remind me of something that would be at a bake sale, or maybe something an old lady would bring to church (I say that like I've been to a church) and then all the other old ladies would complain about getting the seeds in their teeth. Those little seeds can really suck, non?
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
from Williams Sonoma
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup lemon sugar or granulated sugar (please. I used granulated)
2 eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbs. poppy seeds
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tbs. strained fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease 10 standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and lemon or granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition until blended.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds, lemon zest and salt. Using the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, then the lemon juice and vanilla. Beat just until smooth.
In a large bowl, using the mixer with spotlessly clean beaters on high speed or a balloon whisk, beat the egg whites until they just form soft peaks. Using a large silicone spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them three-fourths full. Sprinkle the muffins with the raw sugar.
Bake the muffins until golden, dry and springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool completely. Serve at room temperature with lemon curd. Makes 10 muffins.