Lemon Cherry Poppy Seed Muffins

Oops, I think I’m getting the keyboard sticky. . . I just baked these, and they’re so good that I’m typing while I eat.  To be fair, they’re more of a mini cake than muffin – I think of a muffin of something sort of healthy, and I can’t really think of any health benefits for these except the sheer joy of eating them.  And joy is pretty good medicine, don’t you think?

I’ve been wanting to make a lemon cherry poppy seed muffin for a while, but I haven’t found a recipe I like.  I took this one from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog mainly because it had buttermilk in the recipe, which I think is the reason these turned out so light and cakey.  The original recipe is blueberry lemon, so I just exchanged the blueberries for dried cherries and poppy seeds.  I also made the glaze out of white sugar instead of the icing sugar the recipe called for, because I find glazes made of icing sugar have a bit of a tinny taste to them.

This recipe makes 1 dozen, but feels free to double it if you need more.

What you need:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 & 1/4 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 & 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped (sour cherries if you have them!)

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

for the glaze:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

What you do:

1.  Place paper liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2.  Beat the butter until light and fluffy, then add the sugar and beat again.

3.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the lemon zest and juice, and the vanilla.

4.  For the next part make sure you beat only as much as necessary to incorporate the ingredients: Beat in 1/2 cup of the flour, then 1/4 cup of the buttermilk.  Add 1/2 more cup of flour, then 1/4 cup more buttermilk.

5.  Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with the baking power, baking soda, poppy seeds and salt.  Hand mix this into the batter until just barely mixed in, then add the cherries and just fold them in.

6.  Spoon into the lined muffin tins.

7.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  They should have a golden brown hue.

8.  While the muffins are baking, put the glaze ingredients in a pot and heat enough for them to melt together.

9.  When the muffins are baked, place them on a rack to cool and glaze them right away.

I recommend eating them while they are still warm, but I’m sure they’ll be almost as good when they’ve cooled.


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