Today I wanted to test some muffin recipes I found on line. The first is a lemon poppy seed muffin that is made with oil and in comparison is a muffin made with butter.
As far as taste, the lemon muffin was moist and had a well balanced flavor of lemon. The syrup soak on top really gave it a nice pop of citrus.This muffin, even though moist, was denser than the other.
The spice muffin rose a lot taller and fluffier than the other. It was more like the traditional muffin you find in bakeries and coffee houses. However, I wished it was a little less dry. Also, a lot of the streusel ended up on the pan instead of on the muffin. Next time I would try an extra tablespoon of oil in the batter and a different type of streusel. This muffin had a cinnamon-nutmeg flavor, but it could use some more spice.
Overall, my vote is for the lemon poppy seed. Using oil seems to bring out a moister baked good. Better in texture and stronger in flavor than the spice muffins, the decision was not a difficult one. Both recipes are below and each make about 1 dozen muffins.
Buttermilk Spice Muffins
adapted from Mimi's Cafe
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup plus 1 tbs buttermilk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease or line muffin tin cavities with paper cups.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Fill another bowl with the butter and sugar. Beat together until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat until blended thoroughly. Continue with this process for the each of the remaining eggs until all is blended in.
At this time, the nut topping should be made. Simply add all topping ingredients to bowl and mix together until everything is evenly distributed. Set aside.
Now, back to making the batter...Add 1/2 of the sifted ingredients into the batter and fold in, using a wooden spoon. Then blend in the buttermilk. Lastly, stir in the remaining sifted ingredients just until combined.
Using a scoop, fill the muffin cavities 3/4 full of batter. Once all the batter is used up, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of topping over all the muffins. There is a time factor here, the longer you take the more apt the topping will sink, so act quickly.
Place in oven and bake until tester comes out clean. This should take about 20-25 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan for a few minutes then transfer to rack to finish cooling.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
adapted from LA Times Food Section, 05/08/2002
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs poppy seeds
1 cup plus 2 tbs sugar, divided
1/2 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk (well shaken)
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup lemon juice ( for syrup)
2 tbs lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a muffin tin by greasing the cavities and upper edges with butter. As an alternative, just grease the upper edges of the cavities and line with paper cups.
In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Using another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, zest, extract, poppy seeds and one cup of the sugar. Fold in the sifted ingredients until just combined.
Using a scoop, fill the muffin cavities evenly with the batter. Place pan in oven and bake until tester comes out clean. This should take about 20 minutes. The muffins will be slightly golden in color on top when done.
While the muffins are baking, prepare the syrup. Fill a small microwavable bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Heat on high for 1 minute.
Once the muffins are done, let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then dip the top of each in warm syrup and place on rack to finish cooling. After dipping if any syrup still remains, spoon on top of the muffins to soak in.
**Last Year:Almond Marzipan Roulade**