Monday, April 25, 2011

Muffin Monday

I've been trying to recall at what point I became so enamored with baking.  I know as a little girl I loved to bake cookies and I've always considered it a fun little hobby.  But the past couple years I've found myself really baking - we're talking from stinkin scratch here people!  Cakes, pizza dough, muffins, scones, tarts and of course always cookies.  I like to bake as opposed to cook for a few reasons -

1.  It's generally more precise.  Usually I know if I follow the recipe it will turn out.  And even though I consider myself a creative type I like the science in this.  Go figure.

2.  It lasts longer.  If I spend an hour or two in the kitchen making a nice meal it's consumed in about 30 minutes and there is no longer any evidence of the blood, sweat and tears I've just expended.  With baked goods they usually stick around at least another day or few hours. 

3.  It's pretty.  O.k. - so here's where the decorating/aesthetic side comes in.  I enjoy how a cake can be a work of art and you can set it on a table and take pictures of it and not freak out because it's getting cold.  That's fun to me.  Yes - I'm strange.

My latest creation (well not mine but you know...) was found via a delightful little blog called smitten kitchen.  I knew this gal was a kindred spirit when I read about her kitchen which is teeny tiny and old just like mine. 

Actually this kitchen makes mine seem roomy.  Love that.  It just goes to show that you don't need the latest and greatest, biggest and shiniest.  But I digress.  On to the muffins!

In my opinion there are few things tastier that raspberries combined with lemon.  So it was no surprise to me that these little numbers were so delicious that the kids gobbled them up almost quicker than I could get a decent photo.  Grating the lemon peel is a little time consuming but oh so worth it in the end.  I will for sure be making more of these when our local raspberries are in season.  Delightful!

Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins
Adapted from Susan Elizabeth Fallon via Bon Appetit, July 2006
Yield: 14 large or 56 miniature muffins
1 1/8 cups sugar, divided
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel (from two large lemons)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 1/2-pint containers (about) fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 14 standard muffin cups (or 56 minis) with paper liners. Mash 1/8 cup sugar and lemon peel in small bowl until sugar is slightly moist. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg. Beat in buttermilk, then vanilla and lemon sugar. Beat in flour mixture.
Divide batter among muffin cups (the 2/3-3/4 level worked well for minis). Top each large muffin with 4 raspberries (or mini muffins with one each). Bake muffins until lightly browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes (baking time was on the shy side of 20 minutes for mini muffins).

(see - aren't they pretty!)

Now go have a muffin.  Because it's Monday and they both start with "m" and you can.  That's all.

1 comment: