Monday, August 8, 2016

Orange Poppyseed Muffins

As you know, my baking pan situation of late is somewhat diminished. This hasn't stopped the creation of delicious baked goods and healthy meals though! But it is hard to supplement for a muffin pan. I was hanging out with coworkers after going trampolining (it's a real thing) and somehow muffins came up and I did this impression of the Gingerbread Man from Shrek being interrogated (around 30 second mark for the muffin man bit):

It was certainly amusing to them although not everyone knew what I was talking about so it was slightly embarrassing for me. But that brought us to the old tradition of Muffin Monday where I would bring muffins to work on Mondays. Offended that I hadn't done so yet in London, I explained to them that I didn't have a muffin pan. Desperate for muffins, a colleague offered up her never-been-used-and-unlikely-to-ever-be-used muffin pan to the cause.

And so, Muffin Monday returns!! I've been wanting to make poppyseed muffins for awhile because lemon poppyseed is irresisitable to me but the woman who donated the muffin pan favors orange poppyseed so I was happy to oblige. It really  just involved switching lemon zest and orange zest, nbd.

Sugar and orange zest are combined, the basic step in making a homemade scrub (in case you were wondering). You start to smell the orange fragrance enhance immediately. Set that aside, taking some good deep whiffs first. In a separate bowl, we get the dry ingredients and in yet another bowl, the wet ingredients (butter not included yet). The dry ingredients should be in the largest bowl because we're adding everything to this. First the sugar mixture gets stirred in.

Then the butter is cut into the flour mixture. I no longer have a pastry cutter but a knife, fork or your fingers work just fine. Dig a little well in the flour and pour in the wet ingredients. This is where the muscles come into play. Stir and stir and stir some more (add some folding in there for good measure) until everything is combined. Don't forget to add the poppyseeds once the batter starts to take form.

This batter got sticky and thick the more I combined the ingredients. I could see the magic happening. One problem I have with cold cut butter is the fact that I always end up with chunks of butter that melt and cook differently than when the butter is creamed. Alas, muffins still worked their magic but it was interesting to watch them bake up in different ways as a result.

These didn't taste overly orangey to me, I barely noticed the citrus in the final product. But I suppose lemon poppyseed muffins can be pretty mild on the citrus front as well. If you wanted to get really fancy, you could make a citrus glaze with orange juice (or lemon juice) and powdered sugar. 

adapted from Shutterbean
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Juice from 1 orange (or 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Zest from 1 orange (or 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup of butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons poppyseeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (or 190C). Line your muffin tin and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and zest. Stir with a fork until the zest is mixed in completely. The sugar should clump together as it takes on the moisture from the zest.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, yogurt, vanilla and juice.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the citrus sugar to the mix and stir to combine.
  5. Cut in the cold butter until a coarse meal forms.
  6. Create a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients.
  7. Stir in the citrus sugar. Stir until the ingredients are all mixed together and no flour is visible.
  8. Fold in the poppyseeds.
  9. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup 1/2-3/4 of the way (you can adjust on the second round for a fuller muffin if needed).
  10. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  11. The recipe should make 12 large muffins but I ended up with about 30 small muffins instead.

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